SARANAC LAKE - William "Billy" O'Neil of St. Augustine, Fla., passed away Nov. 20, 2012, with family by his side at the Earl B. Hadlow Caring Center in Jacksonville, Fla.
Born on Jan. 17, 1960, in Saranac Lake to Robert and Shirley (Golden) O'Neil of Bloomingdale, he graduated from Saranac Lake High School and upon graduation he joined the U.S. Air Force.
He married Queenie Duso on Nov. 1, 1979, in Copenhagen, Denmark, while both were enlisted in the Air Force.
After 21 years, he retired from the Air Force in 1999 at the rank of master sergeant. Upon retirement he continued his love of flying the world as he went to work for ATLAS Air, a cargo company based in Miami, Fla., which flies cargo all over the world. After a brief absence from ATLAS Air, he took a job with TSA at the Lake Clear airport and later Syracuse. Missing the flying, he returned to ATLAS Air, where he was the ground operations and H42-MAT instructor, training people all over the world until his passing. He was a past member of the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department, a former member of Boy Scout Troop 19 and Saranac Lake Pee Wee Hockey, and loved vacationing back home in the Adirondacks.
He is survived by his parents, Robert and Shirley O'Neil; his wife of 33 years, Queenie (Duso) O'Neil; a daughter, Peggy and Nathaniel Kraft of St. Augustine, Fla.; a son, Robert and companion James Patterson of Houston, Texas; six brothers and sisters: Cheryl and Larry Faucher of Rotterdam, Michael and Nancy O'Neil of Hendersonville, Tenn., Margaret O'Neil of Altamont, Kathi and Henry McGuigan of Duanesburg, John and Gaye O'Neil of Bloomingdale, Patricia and David Casey of Sandwich, Mass.; many aunts and uncles; and several nieces and nephews.
There was a memorial service held Nov. 23 in Ponte Verde Beach, Fla., with the military Color Guard in attendance. A Mass of remembrance will be said at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at St. Paul's Church in Bloomingdale with the Rev. Paul Kelly officiating.
Donations can be made in Bill's memory to the Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, 4114 Sunbeam Road, Suite 101, Jacksonville, FL 32257.