Robert “Bob” O’Neill, 81, of Schererville, was born in South Chicago and graduated from Chicago Vocational High School where he participated in football, wrestling and speed skating.
He was a honor graduate at Great Lakes Naval Station when he completed basic training in 1953 and later served in the Korean War.
“Dad was a kind gentleman in a bear's body,” said his daughter Carol Schultz.
Son Bob O'Neill said, “He taught my sisters and I many important things, among them how to love, kindness, graciousness and the value of hard work. He demonstrated the virtues of laughter to almost every person he met, but especially to our family and friends.”
O’Neill was a sheet metal worker for 60 years and proud member of Sheet Metal Workers Local 73. He is survived by wife Noreen and four children; Ellen, Carol, Bobby and Julie Anne and was a grandfather of eight.
“He and Mom shared their lives and love for more than 60 years. He will be sorely missed,” Schultz said. “He loved to laugh and he took us all with him. He always took us out to walk in the rain.”
O’Neill was an avid reader who also loved ice skating, fishing, pheasant hunting and weekly family dinners.
“His hobby and gift was being ‘Bob the Builder.’ In our 120-plus family he has built, remodeled, invented things for each and everyone,” Schultz said. “You know how everyone says ‘I got a guy?’ Daddy O was that guy to hundreds of family and friends.”