Melva Deane (Gerdes) O’Neal thumbnail

Melva Deane (Gerdes) O'Neal

February 26, 1930 - October 30, 2021

 

Melva O’Neal passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on October 30, 2021, in Arlington, Texas.

 

Visitation: 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Friday, November 5, 2021, at Biggers Funeral Home.

Memorial Service: 2:30 pm, Saturday, November 6, 2021, at Ridglea Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of f…read more

 

Melva O’Neal passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on October 30, 2021, in Arlington, Texas.

 

Visitation: 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Friday, November 5, 2021, at Biggers Funeral Home.

Memorial Service: 2:30 pm, Saturday, November 6, 2021, at Ridglea Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Presbyterian Night Shelter or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

 

Melva was born February 26, 1930, in Stonewall, Arkansas.  She graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1951, completing her bachelor’s degree in Home Economics with one baby on her hip and another on the way. After a divorce, she found work as a dietician in Texas and moved to Fort Worth.

 

During a shift at Harris Hospital, she met the love of her life, Dennis O’Neal, when he came in on a routine call as a patrolman with the Fort Worth Police Department. They married within a few years and had two sons, raising all four children on the west side of Fort Worth.

 

A natural educator, Melva taught Home Economics at Lake Worth High School for several years. While working and raising her family, she earned two master’s degrees and changed her focus to counseling and special education. She ended her career as an educational diagnostician at Parker County Special Services. Melva loved her work and continued as a consultant in this field after her retirement. She was a longtime member and leader in Alpha Delta Kappa, a sorority focused on service and educational support.

 

She was an active member of Ridglea Presbyterian Church since 1957, including roles as Elder, Sunday School teacher, and numerous other leadership and service positions. At Ridglea Presbyterian she established the O’Neal Family Scholarship Fund to provide support for college education to young members. Melva was a supporter of the Presbyterian Night Shelter and Patriot House. She lived her life with a strong ethic of action over words, inspiring all she met.

 

Melva was a loving mother and wife, successful career woman, and accomplished homemaker. She was known for her homemade ice-cream, angel rolls, and innumerable cookie recipes. Melva loved birdwatching, word puzzles, college football (Woo Pig Sooie!), and quilting. After retirement Melva and Dennis travelled internationally, making friends around the globe. They took great pleasure in visiting family members and friends across the United States. Cherished “Granny” to so many, Melva always had time for hugs, songs, and just the right words to mend a broken heart.

 

Melva is preceded in death by her husband, Dennis D. O’Neal and son, Dennis D. O’Neal III.

 

Melva will be lovingly remembered by her children, Marcia Elizandro (David), Catherine Larkins (Ron), Douglas O’Neal (Dawn); grandchildren, David Elizandro, Jessica Keenan (Jason), Sean O’Neal (Keaton), Corrie Kienast, Ashley Rath (Ron), Casey Gasper (Zachary); step grandchildren, Nick McCommas, Randy McCommas (Abby) and Chris McCommas (Brooke) and numerous great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and large extended family.

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Service Information

Visitation Information

Date: Friday, November 5, 2021

Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Biggers Funeral Home

Address:

6100 Azle Ave.
Lake Worth, Texas 76135

Service Information

Date: Saturday, November 6, 2021

Time: 2:30 pm

Ridglea Presbyterian Church

5000 Southwest Blvd

Fort Worth, TX 76116


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