Berton James O'Neil

Berton James O'Neil was born August 19,1933, to Vernon Prosser O'Neil and Mildred Edna Fitch in Marysville, Washington.

Soon after graduating from Marysville High School Bert joined the navy and served for four years based out of Kodiak, Alaska. After being discharged, he returned to Washington and started his career with General Telephone Company as a lineman in Everett. But ever since his navy days in Kodiak, Bert dreamed of returning to Alaska. He got the chance when a manager position opened up in Seward. Bert and his first wife, Jacqueline Patricia, packed up their three kids and off to Alaska they went.

Traveling to many small villages to provide technical support was one of the most satisfying parts of his job with General Telephone. After surviving the 9.3 earthquake in 1964, he was transferred briefly to Metlakatla, Alaska, before settling in Petersburg, Alaska, where he was the manager for General Telephone for many years.

Bert soon had many close friends in Petersburg. He enjoyed rolling dice for coffee in the mornings and was never late for cocktail hour at the Elks after work with friends. It was his favorite part of the day! Bert absolutely loved Petersburg and Petersburg loved him.

On April 2, 1983, he married the love of his life, Peggy Zentmire. In 1989 Bert and Peggy pulled up stakes and left Petersburg for the sunny skies of Rancho Mirage, California, where Bert started a pool cleaning business, Boco Pools, and served as the handyman and manager of the retirement village where they had their beautiful home. Bert, Peggy and their super dog Sparky made many new friends there and enjoyed a wonderful life.

Bert was the best dad and a wonderful husband. He taught his children to work hard, have fun and to "Respect your elders!" He loved playing tennis, fishing, shooting trap, schooling his two sons at duck hunting (he was an unbelievable shot) and he treasured a good practical joke! When you think of Bert just laugh and smile, that's what he would want.

Bert was preceded in death by his daughter Dawn and his brother Keith.

He is survived by his wife Peggy; sons, Dan (Cheryl) O'Neil, and Dennis (Heather) O'Neil; sister, Diane; and step children, Jerry, Kim, and Rob; grandchildren, Holli (Casey) Flint, Julie (Eldon) Walker, Scott (Erica) O'Neil, and Megan (Troy Thynes) O'Neil; great-grandchildren, Cadence, Gavin, Devyn, Grady, Olivia, Stella, Danielle, and Elis.


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