John F. O'Neil, 91, of Emeritus of Lakewood, formerly of 126 Merlin Ave., died Wednesday April 18, 2012, in WCA Hospital.
A native of Shelbiana, Ky., he was born April 19, 1920, the son of the late Dewey and Lula Roberts Johnson.
He was involved in professional baseball for more than 45 years serving from 1939-86 as player, player/manager, manager, general manager and scout. He participated in over 1,800 minor league games. He played shortstop for the Jamestown Falcons in 1941 and 1954. As part of the 1941 season was named Most Popular Jamestown Falcon by a vote of the fans. The Philadelphia Phillies called him up to the majors for a portion of the 1946 season. He returned to the Jamestown Falcons in 1961, this time as general manager. From 1964-84 he worked as a major league scout for various teams including Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers.
John F. O’Neil
O'Neil was honored by the Chautauqua Hall of Fame at Diethrick Park in the summer of 2011. It was the 70th anniversary of Diethrick Park, then called Municipal Stadium, and O'Neil, lone survivor of the 1941 Jamestown team, was honored by throwing out the first pitch.
John O'Neil was the oldest inductee placed in Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame at the organization's 31st annual induction dinner on Feb. 20, 2012.
Outside of baseball he was an avid golfer and fisherman with memberships at Chautauqua and Corry Hills golf clubs. He was also a member of Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.
Surviving are a daughter, Bonnie (James) Green of Myrtle Beach, S.C. and Jamestown; six grandchildren: Thomas M. Green of Manhattan, Daniel R. (Angela) Green of Maumelle, Ark., Cindy (Jeff) Alper of Randolph, N.J., Jim (Cheryl) Green of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., John (Cheryl) Green of Greensboro, N.C., and Jason (Jeanette) Green of Jamestown; and eight great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife the former A. Janette "Suzy" Swanson, whom he married Nov. 16, 1943, and who died Aug. 28, 2008.
The funeral will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the Lind Funeral Home. Pastor Jennifer Delahoy will officiate.
Burial will be in Lake View Cemetery.
Friends will be received for one hour prior to the service in the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Chautauqua County Humane Society, 2825 Strunk Road, Jamestown, NY 14701.
You may light a candle in remembrance of John at www.lindfuneralhome.com.