LEWISTON — James B. O’Neill, 76, of 1 Ledges Court, died Friday, May 25, at Ste. Marguerite d’Youville Pavilion.

Born in Norwich, Conn., June 21, 1935, the son of the late Martin L. and Hildur Scholander O’Neill.

He attended Griswold High School and graduated from the Choate School in Wallingford, Conn., in 1954. He received a degree in classics from Brown University in 1958.

He served in the enlisted reserve and worked as a stock broker in Boston in the 1960s. In 1974 he relocated his family to Waterville, where he opened the Cheese Shop and later became an English teacher. He was an enthusiastic member of the Waterville Players and served on the Waterville Zoning Board.  

Fate intervened when he met “the love of his life,” Eloise (La Fontaine) Moreau in 1991 and moved to Lewiston in 1994. He fell in love with Lewiston, was an active participant and served on the board of directors of Senior College and was a volunteer with Literacy Volunteers.  

He deeply cherished his two decades in Lewiston, where he was able to spend time with his family, travel and continue his journey as “a lifelong learner.”  

He will be remembered as an avid storyteller, recounting humorous and sometimes embellished stories. He always said his love of cooking and his love of football were in his DNA—the cooking from his mother who taught home economics and the football from his father who was the first All American Candidate for the University of Connecticut in 1922 (later to be seen in his sons and grandsons who played for the University of New Hampshire).

He had an eclectic taste in music, loving everything from classical Beethoven to show tunes. He was gentle, witty, quirky and passionate, especially when it came to current events.

He was an avid reader, taking a particular interest in archaeological journals. He maintained lifelong friendships from California to Jewett City, Conn., where he had special ties to his classmates at St. Mary’s Grammar School.

He enjoyed Friday lunches with Uncle Rosie, finding solutions to the problems of the world. His rewards in life were his grandchildren, whom he cherished with his entire being. He enriched the lives of those fortunate enough to know him and although he is no longer with us, the love and memories he gave us will always remain.  

 He is survived by his wife, the former Eloise La Fontaine (Moreau) O’Neill of Lewiston, whom he married Nov. 8, 1997; two daughters, Suzanne O’Neill of Brunswick and Elizabeth O’Neill and husband, Graham Haynes, of Falmouth; two sons, J. Brian O’Neill and wife, Leslie of Manchester, N.H. and Matthew O’Neill and wife, Seni of Atlanta; his 10 grandchildren, Molly Madore, Ben Kormann, Catherine, Seamus, Mairin, Keelin O’Neill, Henry Haynes, Dresden O’Neill, Alexandra and Eliza Cody; and his cousins, Kristina Fromen Kendall and David Kendall, predeceased of Erie, Pa.  

He is predeceased by the mother of his sons, Ann Dailey.

The family wishes to thank Dr. William Lee and Dr. Maylene Peralta of Central Maine Medical Center and the staff of three East at d’Youville Pavilion.

Online condolences may be shared at www.thefortingroupauburn.com.

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