PORTALES, N.M. – Eugene O’Neal, 82, of Portales, received his heavenly degree Sunday, April 13, 2014, surrounded by family.
Eugene was born Oct. 8, 1931, in Marvel, Ark., to Thomas and Lottie O’Neal. He was the eighth of nine children. He was raised in Arkansas. In his early 20s, he moved to Rock Falls, where he met the love of his life, Barbara Cardwell. Three and 1/2 months after they met, they were married on May 13, 1955. They were married 57 years before Barbara’s life journey ended. They had four children, Daris, Robert, Dorothy, and Thomas.
Eugene was a steel worker for more than 30 years before retiring and moving to Portales. He was very active early on in working, and helping in, the construction of a new church building for the Portales Church of God, where he was a member. His greatest joy was spending time with his family and telling stories to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He is survived by two daughters and sons-in-law, Daris and Donald Hay of Portales and Dorothy and David Allen of Rock Falls; two sons and a daughter-in-law, Robert O’Neal of Portales and Thomas and Sara O’Neal of Rock Falls; 17 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and a brother and sister-in-law, David and Shirley O’Neal of Rock Falls.
He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers; four sisters; a great-grandchild; and by his beloved wife, Barbara, who died Nov. 13, 2012.
The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Wheeler Mortuary Chapel in Portales, with the Rev. Donald Hay Jr. officiating, assisted by the Rev. Michael Gilcrest. Burial will be at Portales Cemetery, with T.J. O’Neal, Ryan Hay, Timothy Hay, Jonathan Gilcrest, Noah Hay, and Ethan Greene serving as pallbearers. David Allen, Carlos Reyes, Jon Greene, and Jestin Squires, along with all of his other grandchildren, will be honorary pallbearers.
Visit www.wheelermortuary.net to send condolences.