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Obituary: Albert Ellis O'Neall ’33

Albert Ellis O'Neall, Antioch College class of 1933, died Jan. 10, 2011.

At age 102, he was oldest known University of Florida graduate. Albert Ellis O'Neall was born on 2 December, 1908 in Waynesville, Ohio, into a family of Quakers. Always known to friends and family as Bert, he grew up on the family farm, surrounded by animals, which he loved all his life. He studied at Antioch College on the co-op plan and graduated from the University of Florida in 1935 as a Civil Engineer.

While at Antioch, he participated in four Thorne-Loomis tours, in which young men toured the United States in Ford A Model trucks, specially fitted with sleeping facilities, food storage, and cooking stoves. The purpose of the program was to encourage college students to visit various activities, including factories, mines and natural wonders, to broaden their knowledge and thereby become better citizens. They traveled to such places as Denver, Yellowstone Park, New Orleans and Chicago.

In 1937, Bert married Margaret Jean Young. He began military service in May 1943 as a civil engineer in the United States Navy, ignoring his conscientious-objector certificate as a Quaker. He received an honorable discharge in 1946, remaining in the Naval Reserve until 1954, at which time he received Honorable Discharge as Lieutenant Commander. He worked for Smith and Gillespie engineers in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1949, he and Margaret moved to Orlando, where, in 1952, he opened his own firm, O'Neall and Associates. He was a charter member and, later, president of the North Orlando Kiwanis Club.

As a student at the University of Florida, he became a member of the Florida Engineering Society and maintained that membership for 70 years. During that time, he served as president of the local and state chapters. Additionally he served as a director of the National Society of Professional Engineers. He was a member of the Central Florida Builders Exchange, President of the Orlando School Bands Association and member of the Florida Textbook Committee.

His wife Margaret died in 2003. He is survived by a son, John (wife,Siv,); a daughter, Marjorie O'Neall Eubank (Joe); grandchildren, Neall Robinson (Charlie) and Arden Tucker Herrin (Trista); step-grandchildren, Jim Eubank (Barbara), Tiffany Parker (Scott), and Caroline Munro (Dave) and great-grandchildren, Tripp, Emma, Arden, Abijah, Phineas, Avery, Erin, Ty, Little Joe, Bobby and Leah. All will remember him as a sociable, affectionate, enterprising, generous and loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to Halifax Health Hospice of Volusia County, 3800 Woodbriar Tr, Port Orange, FL 32129 or the College of Engineering at the University of Florida, P. O. Box 14425, Gainesville, FL 32604-2425. A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, January 18, 2011, at 10:30 a.m., at Greenwood Cemetery, 1603 Greenwood Street, Orlando, FL 32801. Friends are welcome to attend. Baldwin Fairchild Ivanhoe Chapel, Orlando, FL is in charge. (407) 898-8111