Dr. John David O’Neill was born November, 4th, 1924 on a farm near Rutherford, Ontario. His parents were John Fleming O’Neill and the former Annie Johanna Wallen. On his parents marriage record, his father’s occupation was listed as ‘farmer’ and his mother’s occupation was listed as ‘teacher’. Dr. O’Neill was raised in Duart and he had 4 sisters: Helen, Hazel, Mildred and Doris. His father died in Duart on the 26th of September, 1934 when Dr. O’Neill was 9 years old. On the death record, his father’s occupation was listed as ‘merchant’.
Dr. O’Neill was educated at the Duart Public School and Ridgetown High School. He attended the University of Western Ontario and graduated in 1946. While in school, Dr. O’Neill was an accomplished athlete. He pursued tennis, volleyball, basketball and shot put.
Dr. O’Neill worked for two years in Hamilton, before specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. During his studies he did locums in many Southern Ontario communities. He eventually settled in Chatham. He served as Chief of the departments of Obstetrical Gynecology at St. Joseph’s Hospital and the Public General Hospital. In 1965, he stepped down as the head of the departments, but continued to work in his field. In 1967 he was Chief of Staff at St Joseph’s Hospital.
Dr. O’Neill married Jessie Peterson Mair and they were the parents of 4 daughters: Jane, Patricia, Marianne and Barbara.
Dr. O’Neill belonged to Park Street United Church in Chatham and he enjoyed golf, music and bridge in his spare time.
Dr. O’Neill died on the 2nd of June, 2000 at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. He was buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham.