Mrs. Frankie O’Neal, a native of Arp and longtime resident of Orange, died on December 7, 2013 at the Hamptons in Tyler after a long illness.
Frankie Mae Parker was born in Arp on May 4, 1926, the daughter of the late Robert Dempse Parker and Jewell Florence Parker both of Arp. She graduated from Arp High School, where she was drum major and played the oboe in the band. At Kilgore Junior College, the young Frankie Parker was a Kilgore Rangerette. A member of the ‘greatest generation,’ Frankie worked at the U.S. Naval Ordnance Lab in Daingerfield and at Wright Field of the U.S. Army Air Corps in Dayton, Ohio during the War years. In 1946, she married her husband of sixty-seven years, Lloyd R. O’Neal of Troup, who served in the US Army Air Corps during WWII. After several years together in College Station, Mrs. O’Neal and her husband settled in Orange in 1950, where Mr. O’Neal, a graduate of Texas A&M, was an engineer at Dupont Sabine River Works until retirement in 1984.
During the couple’s more than fifty years in Orange, Mrs. O’Neal was a homemaker raising two children and a member of the First Baptist Church. She touched many young lives over forty years as a popular and devoted volunteer leader in Campfire Girls and Boy Scouts, and by teaching First Aid and CPR. In 2005, Mr. and Mrs. O’Neal returned to their native East Texas settling in Tyler, first at Sterling House and then at the Hamptons. Mrs. O’Neal is survived by her husband Lloyd O’Neal of Tyler, daughter Molly O’Neal and husband Geoffrey Cleasby of Washington, DC, son Robert T. O’Neal and wife Marlene O’Neal of Houston, grandsons Alexander and Timothy Cleasby of Washington, DC, Daniel Pena of New York City and Mark Pena of Ft. Walton, Florida. She is also survived by her sisters, Mrs. Maxine Soape of Arp and Mrs. Oline Swinney of Tyler, and their husbands, as well as by three nieces and seven nephews.
Funeral services for Mrs. O’Neal will be held at Cottle Funeral Home in Troup at 11 am on Saturday, December 14, with visitation beginning at 9:30 am that morning. Burial will follow at Mason Cemetery in Arp. Memorials to Mrs. O’Neal can be devoted to Alzheimer’s research and caregivers’ support.
Online registration and condolences are available at www.cottlefuneralhome.com.