Margaret Ann O’Neill, formerly of Skaneateles, passed away peacefully on 4/01/2020 in Clearwater, Fla. at the age of 89.
She was born in the Adirondacks and lived a life of kindness. If someone was in trouble, she opened her door to give them a safe and happy place. She was a world-traveler in spirit with a small-town heart. She was adventurous in the kitchen (famous chili sauce) and told wonderful stories about her life as a teacher in Saudi Arabia, where she ate with the King and lived in a palace. She then continued to teach in the Riyadh International School. Her living room footstool was a camel saddle, a wink to the world beyond.
An avid quilter, she was a member and past president of the Thumbstall Quilt Guild and made baby quilts for the Onondaga County Orphanage. If you stopped by for some guidance, she would just shoo the cat or dog off a chair or table to pick up some squares she had been working on, or to show you some fabric you could use for your own project. She was very active in starting and was past president of the Skaneateles Figure Skating Club, a member of Austin Park Committee, and many other organizations. She had a strong faith in God and was a communicant of St. Mary’s of the Lake Catholic Church.
She was a proud graduate of Potsdam University, with a degree in education. She developed a strong relationship with her mentor (Gladys Hahn) while she was a student teacher. The children in school loved her because she opened her heart to them. She laughed loudly, she didn’t take life too seriously, and she always sought innovative ways to keep her students engaged.
It was at school that she met her husband, Frank, a fellow teacher. Following his death, she really embraced her love of learning and became a very active student at Syracuse University for many years.
She loved being a teacher, she loved her friends and family, but she might have loved her Old English sheepdogs Brandy and Reggie even more. Their devotion to her was undoubtedly equal to the love they got.
She was an inspirational woman. She lived a very good life. She will be missed by many.
She is predeceased by her parents Beatrice and Henry Harris, along with her siblings Donald, Virginia, Glenda, her beloved husband Harold (Frank) and her son, Jeffrey. She is survived by her daughter Jamie (Lenny) DiSanza, sister Eleanor Roach and brother Lloyd Harris, along with nieces, nephews and cousins. A very special thank-you, to all the wonderful caregivers that embraced her through the last 14 years.
Services will be at a future date. In lieu of flowers donations in Marg’s memory may be made to Town of Skaneateles earmark Austin Park “tree project- O’Neill”
Or Canine Care at www.caninecaretampabay.org or mail to Canine Care Tampa Bay 1870 Allendale Drive, Clearwater FL 33760.
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