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Virginia O’Neill, 99, of Scientists Cliffs died May 23, 2012, at her home.
She was born Sept. 24, 1912, in Kansas City, Mo.
She lived an extraordinary life, full of great adventure and wonderful memories. Her family moved to the Washington, D.C., area in the late 1920s. She was well known in the county for her stained glass lamps and braided rugs, most being sold at the annual Scientists Cliffs Art & Craft Show. Many of the homes in Scientists Cliffs and throughout the county are decorated with her lamps and hanging stained glass pieces. This was a source of great pride to her. She was active in the local garden club and other organizations and was one of the founding members of American Chestnut Land Trust and loved the organization’s work to preserve the Parkers Creek Watershed. She was a 65-year resident of Calvert County. She was affectionately known to the family as Mimi.
She had a passion for conservation and the American West, and took almost annual pilgrimages west to visit the national parks and other protected landscapes. She loved nature and instilled this love to her twin sons, Alan and Brian, who both spent distinguished careers in conservation, mostly with the National Park Service.
One of the things that distinguished her was her love of adventure and positive attitude. In her mind, there never was a bad day. She believed we are blessed to be alive and that one should fill their memory bank each and every day. She was a wonderful storyteller and loved to share her stories with friends and family. She had beautiful blue eyes and an infectious smile. Her family saw her as a wonderful role model for how to live with grace and dignity. She was not only a living legacy to her family but to the community and all those who had the benefit to know her or to cross her path. She was a way-shower on how to live a full life of meaning and how humankind can live in harmony with each other and with the earth. She was a simple but great person. She was a demonstration that you don’t have to be a world leader to touch and positively influence thousands of people. The family will always remember her as one who brought a special “light” to the planet. She was the grand matriarch of the O’Neill family.
She is survived by her son, Alan and his wife, Barbara; daughter-in-law, Marti; grandchildren, Kevin, Ryan, Brent, Kim and Stacey; great-grandchildren, Sean, Kieran, Cameron, Breana, Chelsey and Alyssa; and great-great-grandchild, Hadley Davis.
A celebration of her life will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 2, at the Scientists Cliffs Community Building.
Memorial contributions may be made to American Chestnut Land Trust, P.O. Box 2363, Prince Frederick, MD 20678.
Arrangements are being provided by Rausch Funeral Home in Port Republic.