We are heartbroken to announce that, Valerie Lynn O’Neill, our cherished Mum, Grammy, GG, and "Val" to the rest of her family and friends, passed away on November 18, at the young age of 71. Her son and daughter, whom she lovingly and jokingly called her "two mistakes", were by her side right until the very end. Born in Moncton, she was the daughter of the late Edward Bell and Jean (Lewis) Bell. She was predeceased by her husband, Michael O’Neill and her infant daughter, Beth Anne.
Val is survived by her daughter, Meghan O’Neill (Ian Sutherland), and son, Patrick O’Neill (Charlette); grandchildren, Hayley, Hunter, Cole and Lauren; great grandchildren, Brynn and Zane; sisters, Nancy Bursey, Ruth Gammon (Bill), and Karen Dennis (Terry); and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
She worked at the Royal Bank for many years, loved her work friends, despised being a bank teller, and then moved into the cash office, the position she held until retirement.
Mum’s quick wit and sense of humor were like none other. She could somehow take any situation and infuse it with one-liners that would make everyone laugh. Her organizational skills would give Marie Kondo a run for her money. She impressed her kids with her jive skills which she honed at the Dance-O-Rama as a teenager. She had a wonderful, eclectic taste in music, but the music of the 50s, 60s and 70s remained the closest to her heart. She loved reading and hated games. No matter how hard we begged her to play, she would decline, then she would decide to play, only to annihilate us in a game of Monopoly, gin rummy, or a backyard game of badminton, then walk away nonchalantly. And though she wasn’t a fan of games, she loved a good water gun fight! She could crank out a turkey dinner with the ease of someone whipping up a pot of Kraft Dinner. Mum was an enthusiast of British Mysteries on Masterpiece Theatre, Coronation Street, and would PVR the 500 Hallmark Christmas movies that would come out every year - and watch ALL of them! She also loved Magnum P.I., the 80s version, though we think that had more to do with Tom Selleck than the actual plot. A lover of nature, she loved to garden, feed the birds and hear the sound of the ocean. She adored her pets over the years whom she regarded as family, but saved her warmest smiles and her greatest love for her grandchildren and great grandchildren in whose regular visits she took great delight. She wasn’t cheap, but she sure loved a good deal! When we would ask her where she bought something, she would proudly say a yard sale or Value Village. She inherited her mother’s amazing baking skills – her chocolate cake with boiled icing, no less than three kinds of pies at a family event, chocolate macaroons, and Hello Dolly squares were some her family’s favorites. She loved her trips, visits and phone calls with her sisters, having Saturday wine with her friends at 190 Carson Drive, and reconnecting with her Sunny Brae and YMCA alumni groups. She made Christmas the most magical time of year for her family. And though she was the most caring and kind mother, she still had the power to terrify her children well into their forties. All it would take was a look. But most importantly, she also knew how to make her loved ones feel as though they were the most special people in the whole world. Above all, she cherished spending time with her family.
While Mum had many wonderful qualities, her courage and strength were beyond that which most humans possess. Though she lived with advanced cancer for twenty years, she lived every day to the fullest and treated her illness as though it were simply there in the background - she would not let it define her or run her life. You fought so hard, Mum, we hope you are somewhere running, walking and dancing with your brightest smile and laughing with that laugh that was music to our ears. You will be missed every single day for the rest of our lives.
In lieu of sending flowers, or if you are considering making a donation in Mum’s memory, we believe she would be thrilled if you helped to support Playing and Learning Together (www.canadahelps.org) a recreational non-profit organization that helps to support children and youth living with autism or a charity of your choice.
A joyous celebration of Mum’s life will be held closer to her birthday in March, 2022.
Arrangements entrusted to Fergusons Funeral Home, 1657 Mountain Road, Moncton (858-1995).
Online condolences for the family may be shared on the Fergusons Funeral Home Facebook Page or at