Mary F. Gill O’Neil, 95

NORTH SEBAGO — Mary Frances Gill O’Neil, 95, of North Sebago, formerly of Portland, beloved mother, wife and grandmother, died on Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, at her residence surrounded by her family.

She was born in Portland on July 21, 1918, the daughter of William and Mary E. McGillicuddy Gill. Mary Frances was a 1935 graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English at St. Joseph’s College in 1939 and a master’s degree in English at Columbia University in New York City in 1941.

Prior to her marriage, Mary Frances taught high school in Old Town, Bowdoinham and in Darien, Conn. Later, after her children were grown, she also served as a substitute teacher at Catherine McAuley High School in Portland.

Mary Frances began dating her future husband, John S. O’Neil, on New Year’s Eve. Upon his return from World War II, they married at St. Joseph Church on Sept. 18, 1948. Over the next many years, they raised six children in Portland.

In the 1970s, Mary Frances obtained her Realtor’s license and worked several years for a local agency.

As a child Mary Frances summered at Sebago Lake. For many years, she and her husband, John, rented a cottage in the area before purchasing the family summer residence, which later became a year round family home and gathering spot for many celebrations.

For the past 29 years, Mary Frances has lived in North Sebago and enjoyed the tight-knit community. She and John made many friends due to their involvement with the Friends of the Spaulding Memorial Library and Sebago Lions Club.

In 2009, Mary Frances received the Boston Post Cane as the oldest resident of Sebago and also served as Grand Marshall of the Sebago Days Parade. However, her biggest life achievement was raising her children and instilling strong family values.

Mary Frances was predeceased by her parents; her husband John; and three brothers, William, Richard and Paul Gill.

Survivors include three daughters, Mary “Fran” Perry of Freedom, N.H., Priscilla G. O’Neil of Scarborough and Patrice A. O’Neil of Scarborough; three sons, William G. O’Neil of Portland, John J. O’Neil of White River Jct., Vt. and Timothy E. O’Neil of Sebago; a sister, Priscilla Tighe of Bridgton; 10 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, from 4 to 6 p.m., at Conroy-Tully Crawford South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. Prayers will be recited at 9:15 a.m. on Friday at the chapel, followed by a 10 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 150 Black Point Road, Scarborough. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery, South Portland.

Those desiring may make donations to: Spaulding Memorial Library, 282 Sebago Rd., Sebago, ME 04029.

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