Frederick L. O’Neill

“To sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub, For in that sleep of death what dreams may come. When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause.” – Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”

Frederick L. O’Neill, 72, of Marietta, passed away Dec. 1 after a long battle with rheumatoid arthritis, brain cancer, heart failure, COPD and stroke. To say that Fred fought hard to live every day would be an understatement. He was stubborn and strong-willed until the very end.

Fred was born Nov. 27, 1945 in Charleston, W.Va., to Raymond Miles and Stina M. Ferguson O’Neill. He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother.

Fred graduated with a BS degree in education from Marshall University and spent many years as a history and English teacher, as well as trying his hand on archeological digs before his health took a turn.

Many readers of local newspapers might remember Fred as someone who was passionate about politics and he definitely had a way with words and thoughts. As a staunch Democrat, he never hesitated to tell you exactly how he felt about an issue.

His other passions were movies and books. He had hundreds, if not thousands, in his collection. He fondly remembered his mother taking him to the theater and would recollect all of the “celebrity” run-ins he had in his lifetime. His love for theater translated to the stage as Fred was a frequent actor and director for the Mid-Ohio Valley Players, the Actors Guild and the Showboat Becky Thatcher. His love of theater, history and politics is something that he passed down to his children and grandchildren.

Fred is survived by three children, Erin O’Neill, of Marietta; Deirdre (Jamie) Wedig of Grove City; and Sean O’Neill, of Huntington. He is also survived by his ex-wife, Willa, and the loves of his life, his four grandchildren, Liam, Olivia and Lillian Wedig and Maeghan O’Neill.

In lieu of a Viking funeral, a memorial service will be held at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Marietta on Dec. 16 beginning at 4 p.m. Family will greet friends for 30 minutes before the services and all are welcome to share thoughts of Fred and offer condolences to the family during a wake to follow at the family’s home.

Special thanks to all those at Harmar Place and hospice for caring for Fred and the family during this difficult time. Donations may be made in Fred’s memory to the MOVP, 229 Putnam Street, or to The UU Church, 232 Third Street, Marietta, Ohio 45750. The Marietta Chapel of Cawley & Peoples Funeral Home is honored to serve Fred’s family and offers online condolences and many more resources by visiting their website,