Leroy B. O’Neal

Ocracoke native Leroy B. O’Neal, 88, died July 4 in Wilmington, Delaware. 

Born Dec. 9, 1929, on Ocracoke, he was the last surviving of nine children of William A. O’Neal, Sr. and Margaret Bell (Styron) O’Neal. 

“Lee” enjoyed spending time at his home on Ocracoke, where he delighted in visiting with family and fishing.  For years he participated in the Ocracoke Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament on the O’Croakers team, winning third place in 1999.

He served with the Army Corps of Engineers (1946 to 1947) and with the U.S. Air Force during the Korea campaign. 

He was a member of the Delaware State Police from 1952 to 1962.  He also worked as a bricklayer, iron worker and crane operator. 

He was a former member of the New Castle County Democratic executive board for approximately 17 years and a former director of the Division of Industrial Affairs and executive director of the AFL-CIO Community Services. He was a member of the Private Industry Council and a retired member of Local 542 Operating Engineers.

He served on the board of directors of The Delaware Center for Wellness, the Delta Dental Plan and the Howard Weston Senior Center.  

He is predeceased by his wife, Irene G. O’Neal.

Survivors include daughters Sharon Reardon (Daniel) of Claymont, Delaware, and Kathleen Weiss (David) of Wilmington, Delaware; grandchildren Michael Donofrio (Rachel) of Burke, Virginia, and Faye Smith (Brian) of Frenchtown, N.J.; and two great-granddaughters, Alexa Joy Donofrio and Avery Lee Donofrio.   He is also survived by many cousins, nieces and nephews and a host of friends, including long-time family friend Benjamin Rizzo.

Services will be held on Friday, July 13, in St. Peter the Apostle Church, 520 Harmony St., New Castle,  Delaware.  Visitation will be from 9:30 to 11 a.m., followed by mass and interment in the church cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ocracoke Working Watermen’s Association, c/o Ocracoke Foundation, P.O. Box 1689, Ocracoke NC 27960, or the Ocracoke Preservation Society. P.O. Box 1240, Ocracoke NC 27960.


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