Thomas J. (TJ) O’Neill, age 79, passed away on Wednesday, October 10, 2012. He was living in Houston, Texas at the time, but previous to that he had lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado for more than 40 years. He had several careers throughout the years including real estate agent, home builder, and pre-purchase home inspector.
TJ was born on July 10, 1933, to J. Paul O’Neill and Marie M. (Malone) O’Neill in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended Northeast Catholic High School in Philadelphia (Class of 1951). On September 20, 1969, he married Lucinda Villarreal in Colorado Springs, Colorado, his second marriage.
TJ was always a fan of music even if he never mastered any instrument, but as a teen he did play the banjo as part of a Mummers Band in Philadelphia. He was a long time member of the Pikes Peak Jazz and Swing Society and could often be seen dancing with his umbrella at their weekly gatherings and in parades. He served in the Air Force for 20 years including tours in Korea and Vietnam, before retiring as a Master Sergeant. He was a charter member of The Retired Enlisted Association. He loved volunteering, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, handing out food during the holidays and performing as Santa for anyone who asked.
He is survived by his loving wife, Lucy; his children: Kathy, Thomas, Theresa, Michael and Lucinda; his brother: Paul; his grandchildren: Michelle, Jennifer, Sammy, Tommy, Chris, Trevor, Matthew and Maxwell; and great-grandchildren: Jenesis and Jaiden. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his sister, Marie.
A visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 17, at the Shrine of Remembrance, 1730 East Fountain Boulevard, Colorado Springs, Colorado. A memorial service with military honors will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 18, at the same location. A reception will be held following the memorial at The Retired Enlisted Association, 834 Emory Circle. A private interment will be at the Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver on Friday, October 19.
Memorials in TJ O’Neill’s name may be made to The Retired Enlisted Association and the Alzheimer’s Association.