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Robert "Bob" O'Neill, Jr.

October 14, 1936 ~ January 5, 2014 (age 77)
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O’Neill Robert  Robert O’Neill Jr. of Park Ridge, Illinois, died on Sunday, January 5th, 2014 at the age of 77. Bob had a laugh that was hearty, infectious, at times near-heroic, and impossible to ignore, and as anyone who had met him during his long and full life could attest, it was always near.  Bob was born on October 14th, 1936, at the corner of 61st and Ellis in Chicago to parents Robert and Margaret. No matter where life took him–to San Diego, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan with the Navy; to high-rises in the Loop with his job in the markets; or to Park Ridge with his family–he always remained in heart and spirit a child of the South Side, in those apartment blocks where he met his first friends. An amazing thing about Bob was his ability to make and keep friends–the friends he met on that corner 70 years ago, four of whom he recently self-published a book with about growing up in 1940s Chicago–and friends from every decade since. Bob created lasting friendships with people he mentored, got jobs for, got jobs from, casually drank with, lived nearby to, and almost anyone else whose path he crossed. He was quick with a joke and had a gift for creating immediate camaraderie, making people feel an instant kinship and sense of belonging. After his Navy career, in which he participated in the evacuation of the Tachen Islands, Bob used his skills as a teletype operator to land a job in the wire room of Dean Witter and Co.  Soon after, he started a job at Bache & Co and quickly worked his way up, retiring as a Senior Vice President at Prudential (which had acquired Bache). Along the way, he provided careers for many people, nurtured them, and created a diverse yet tight-knit, hard-working family in his office. He was instrumental in creating what would become the modern stock-loan industry in Chicago. In the stock-loan community he was known as “The Godfather”, as it seems like everyone who worked there got their start under him, and, if not, received advice from him over a round of drinks at Tutto’s.  His St. Patrick’s Day parties were the stuff of legend. Bob loved many things whole-heartedly and enthusiastically in his life, most notably Chicago sports (the Bears and the White Sox), Notre Dame football, and time spent with friends. He loved traveling, especially his many trips to Ireland, where he attempted to show the locals how to drink Guinness and Jamesons. But above all else, he loved his family, his beloved wife Elizabeth and their four children. He was a father who was at once fiercely protective, and yet smart enough to let his children make their own decisions. He taught them to be loyal to friends and family, and to practice kindness and generosity towards those who were in need, and those who weren’t. He taught them to always tip well, because it doesn’t take much to make someone’s night a little better. In his last years, his grandchildren brought him enormous joy and pride, and made him excited to fight again after being weakened by a stroke in late 2003.  He is predeceased by his sisters, Lavern, Jean, and Kathleen (Kass).  He is survived by a sister (Mavon) and a brother (Mike).  He is also survived by his wife Elizabeth, son Daniel, son Kevin and Amy O’Neill and their daughter Maggie, son Brian and Allison O’Neill, daughter Meghan and Mike and their children Robbie and Zoe, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.  All who knew him will raise a glass to his memory, and will always remember him with a love as deep as his rolling, constant laughter. Bob will be waked at Cooney Funeral Home at 625 Busse Highway in Park Ridge, on Thursday, Jan 9th, from 3-9PM.  Funeral services will be held at St. Paul of the Cross, at 320 S. Washington St in Park Ridge, at 10AM, and will be buried at St. Adalbert.  In lieu of flowers, please donate to someone in need, as Bob would have wished.

 Service Information

Visitation
Thursday
January 9, 2014

3:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Cooney Funeral Home
625 Busse Highway
Park Ridge, IL 60068

Funeral Mass
Friday
January 10, 2014

10:00 AM
St. Paul of the Cross Church
320 S. Washington
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068


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