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John O’Neill, Sangamon County Board Member, Passes Away at 78

John H. O’Neill, a dedicated public servant and Vietnam War veteran, passed away on July 6th at the age of 78. Born on September 2, 1945, in Toledo, OH, to John H. and Bernice J. (Toedter) O’Neill, John was a pillar of the Sangamon County community, where he served on the County Board for 22 years.

O'Neill graduated from Arlington Heights High School and pursued higher education at Springfield College, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), and the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS), where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees. He proudly served as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. After his military service, he became a legislative liaison for both the Illinois Secretary of State and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

O'Neill married Carol J. Rudin on December 5, 1970, in Springfield, and together they raised three sons, John H. IV, Chris, and Billy. He was a devoted family man, enjoying sports, especially cheering for the Cubs, Bears, Notre Dame, and Illini basketball teams. He frequently attended his children’s and grandchildren’s sporting events and cherished playing golf with friends. O'Neill was a member of St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Chatham.

Sangamon County Board Chairman Andy Van Meter expressed his condolences, "On behalf of the Sangamon County Board, I want to extend our deepest sympathies to John's family, friends, and loved ones. As the long-time chairman of the County’s Courts Committee, John was a champion for the modernization of our court system. As a Veteran, John was the leader on the board urging more effective delivery of services to our local Veterans. His years of service to our Country, State, and County have left a lasting impact on our community. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were close to him during this difficult time."

Memorial contributions may be made to the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight or the Alzheimer’s Association – Springfield Office.

A memorial gathering will take place on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Butler Funeral Home – Springfield, with a prayer service to start the event. A Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, July 11, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Chatham, officiated by Rev. Joseph M. Molloy. Burial with military honors will follow at Camp Butler National Cemetery.


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