James O'Neal, 92, Rye Advertising Executive, WWII Vet

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RYE, N.Y. – James "Jim" J. O'Neal, a longtime Rye resident, died Jan. 25, surrounded by family. He was 92.

He was born Aug. 1, 1921, in St. Louis, Mo., to Charles C. and Elizabeth Dooley O'Neal. He attended St. Louis University High School and Notre Dame University, where he was senior class president and winner of the Notre Dame DOME Award.

O'Neal enrolled in Naval Officer School during college and served during World War II aboard the USS Canfield in the Sea of Japan.

He married Mary Tierney of St. Louis. He cared for his wife who had Alzheimer's disease.

He had a long career in advertising, starting in St. Louis and then to New York in 1955 to work for D'Arcy and Campbell-Ewald. He also served as chairman of D'Arcy International.

He worked as an executive at Olin, Bermuda, Lufthansa, GMAC and General Motors, before retiring from Campbell-Ewald as group executive vice president in 1986.

O'Neal attended Mass daily and served as the daily sacristan for many years at the chapel of St. Vincent's Church in Harrison. He served on many fund-raising committees, including the Convent of the Sacred Heart as chair of the building committee in the early ’70s. He was also a Knight of the Order of Malta.

He is survived by seven children, Sally Maloney, of Greenwich Conn., Ellen Walsh, of Wellesley Hills, Mass., Mary Davidson, of Rye, Kathy Wasilko, of Greenwich, Peggy Shepard, of Rye, Nancy Holloway, of Springfield, Mass., and Jim O'Neal Jr., of Stamford, Conn.; 19 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.

His wife of 68 years died in 2010.  He was also predeceased by three sisters, Elizabeth Cramer, Florence Burns and Ellen Tipton.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m., Wednesday, at Church of the Resurrection in Rye. A private family burial will follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Mary T. O'Neal Scholarship Fund, Convent of the Sacred Heart, 1177 King Street, Greenwich, CT 08630. 

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