SOUTHLAKE, TX – Dr. Samuel J. O’Neill, Jr., 88, formerly of Gardner, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully on May 2, 2020 in Grapevine, Texas. He was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on April 7, 1932 and was the son of the late Samuel J. O’Neill, Sr. and Mary F. (Kinnane) O’Neill, of Lowell, Massachusetts.
Dr. O’Neill graduated from Keith Academy, Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1949, and went on to Boston College, where he majored in Spanish and Philosophy and graduated in 1953, magna cum laude, ranking #1 out of 445 graduates. He went on to Fordham University, New York, New York, where he received his Master’s Degree in Spanish Literature in 1955. He continued his education at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, where he received his Doctorate degree (Ph.D.) in Spanish Language and Latin American Studies. He also completed other graduate study Spanish and French programs at the Catholic University, Washington, D.C., Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, and the University of Arizona at Guadalajara, Mexico.
Dr. O’Neill served over 32 years in the United States Navy (Active Duty and Reserve) and Marine Corps (Reserve), and retired as a Navy Captain (O-6) in 1992. He taught at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland for approximately 10 years as both a Naval Officer and tenured civilian professor in the Humanities Division. His military service included service in various intelligence units afloat and ashore, including duty with fleet commands, staff of the Commander, Caribbean Sea Frontier and the Defense Intelligence Agency. He was the Commanding Officer of Naval Reserve Intelligence Division 112 and Defense Intelligence Unit 101, Worcester, Massachusetts, and Intelligence Plans Officer, First Naval District, Boston, Massachusetts. He served as the Commanding Officer of the Naval Defense Attaché Unit 0166, Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. His naval education included courses on sonar, communications, military justice, damage control, and naval intelligence, as well as courses at the U.S. Armed Forces Institute studying the Russian, German and French languages.
Dr. O’Neill was a Professor of Humanities (Spanish, French, English, Public Speaking) at Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, Massachusetts, from 1967 until his retirement in 1996. During his tenure at Mount Wachusett, he also served as Chairman of the Division of Humanities and Dean of Academic Affairs. While at Mount Wachusett, he served on all major standing committees, including the Faculty Executive Committee, Faculty of the Whole (Chairman), Academic Affairs, New Campus Planning, Budgetary Affairs, Promotion/Tenure/Sabbatical Leave, Experimental College, and numerous ad hoc committees. He actively participated in community public speaking engagements, serving as a member of the CNO‘s Sea Power Presentation Team, and he held numerous professional, academic, and military organization memberships.
He was the author of “Interior Monologue in Al filo del agua” Hispania September 1968, his copyrighted doctoral dissertation, and “Physical-Literacy Techniques in the Contemporary Novel of Mexico.” He wrote the narrative for the MWCC Tenth Anniversary Brochure and was the scriptwriter for the Massachusetts Foundation of Public Policy Grant. As a former member of the United States Naval Academy (USNA) faculty, he served as a guest lecturer, course director of several courses, Secretary of the USNA Research Council, USNA Committee on Faculty Professional Growth, Validation and Electives Committee, Secretary of Third and Fourth Class Committees, Spanish Club representative and was an adviser to USNA midshipmen.
In addition to his professional and academic achievements, Dr. O’Neill loved gardening and camping, and was a devout and fervent member of the Catholic church.
Dr. O’Neill was predeceased by his wife, Patricia M. O’Neill. He is survived by his daughter, Margaret M. Price and her husband, Paul Price, of Southlake, Texas; daughter, Dr. Beanne Rothenberg and her husband, Larry Rothenberg, of Kensington, Maryland; son Michael O’Neill and his wife, Pamela O’Neill, of Austin, Texas; stepson, Scott Pollard and his wife, Cathy Pollard, of Rexford, New York; stepdaughter, Jill Pollard of Gardner, Massachusetts, 13 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. He was predeceased by his stepson, Glenn Pollard.
Funeral services, a Mass of Christian Burial, and burial in the Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery will be private. There are no calling hours. To send online condolences, please visit www.mackfamilyfh.com.
Mack Family Funeral Home 105 Central St., Gardner is directing arrangements.