Cover photo for Billy Davis O'Neal's Obituary
Billy Davis O'Neal Profile Photo
1934 Billy 2020

Billy Davis O'Neal

February 22, 1934 — September 1, 2020

Billy Davis O'Neal (Bill) was born on February 22, 1934, to Luther
Davis O'Neal and May O'Neal. He was born in Ada, OK and lived in
Oklahoma, Texas and eventually came to California, during WW when
he was ten years old. "He really loved and respected that lady" Bill
wrote of his Grandma Harwell. He was raised in Richmond, California,
alongside his sisters Annabelle Shelly and Wanda Evans and his
brothers Glendale O'Neal and Harvey O'Neal. Bill's favorite pastime as
a child was riding his 1945 Schwinn Bicycle. It was very hard to
obtain a bike during WW, because metal had to be used to build
ships. His name was on a waiting list, he eventually made it to the
top of the list. He was so proud of that beautiful piece of boyhood
machine, he wrote. Bill's dream was to ride his bicycle across country
when he retired. He said, "my gluttonous maximums disagreed", he rode
that same 1945 Schwinn bike, until age 75. When he was 14 years old,
because his dad wouldn't sign loan papers, he convinced a bank officer
for a loan for a Cushman Motor Scooter, that enabled him to have three
paper routes during High-school, as well as working at Penn Market. In
his teenage years, he took piano lessons that began his lifelong
passion to play the piano and his love of music. He developed lifelong
friendships in his earlier years with Lloyd Duffin and Duane & Ellen
Martin. Bill enlisted in the military and served our great country
during the Korean War as a Medic and Petty Officer First Class of the
US Army. He served from 1952-1957 and was stationed at Tripler Army
Medical Center in Hawaii. He would sign every letter written during
war, with a drawing of a grand piano at the bottom. In the summer of
1960 he took a road trip and he picked up three hitchhikers, at the
Coulter Bay sign in Grand Tetons. He gave the three ladies, one was a
Catholic, one was a Mormon, and one was a Presbyterian, a ride back to
Yellowstone National Park. He took them out for pizza, movie and bear
watching at the dump. He left and wrote letters, courted and married
the Presbyterian, Kathleen Moore, a warm, loving and kind woman from
Fargo, North Dakota. They were married for 59 years on August 13,
2020. They had three beautiful and uniquely different children, Scott
O'Neal, his death preceded in 2015, Nancy O'Neal and Merry Shipman.
Bill was a "Papa" to two wonderful grandchildren Zachary Helmick and
Mikayla Shipman. He was a proud great Papa to Madison Auuch. Bill
attended Richmond High school 1948-1952, Contra Costa Junior College
1957-1958, San Francisco State University 1959-1960 graduating with
his Bachelors of Science and his teaching credential. He worked on his
Masters at California State Hayward in the 60's. He started his
teaching career in 1960 at Bay school in San Lorenzo School District.
He taught for 33 years and his love was 5th & 6th grade. He was known
as "BEAST OF BAY" and had a reputation as a tough teacher. He had his
gold whistle. In later years of life, many of his students would come
back and thank him. He loved teaching his students about Geography and
National Parks was his passion, he collected every map he could. He
would build so many friendships of importance at Bay with Irma
Jenkins, Jim Silva and Don Direckson and Skip & Lou Ann Martin. Bill
and Kathie raised their family in Fremont, CA. They bought their first
home on Worthing Court and what a perfect neighborhood of friendships
that became family. One time there were 44 kids in the neighborhood.
Frank & Ruth Salvatore were family next door, every trip started and
ended at their table, and so much more. The Mattie's, The Reese's, The
Ungaro's, the Borstad's, The Holguin's, The Sprague's and the
Gebhardt's all shared lifetime of laughter, fun, camping trips, jokes
and pranks, bike rides, boating and fishing, open garage doors and
having a cold one on the tailgate of pick up truck, hamburger runs to
Reno, french bread in Bishop, black jelly beans in Columbia. You
shared each other's best and worst days of life. Bill and Kathie would
retire and move to Rocklin, CA to be closer to the kids and grand kids.
Bill enjoyed traveling with his love, Kathie to every US State,
National Parks, Switzerland, Norway, England, Italy, Malta, France and
Spain. His love to travel and follow trains. He loved to go in the car
anywhere. He loved spending time with family and friends. Bill loved
food and eating at the table with others. He enjoyed his flowers,
little jobs on his workbench or puttering the house, chauffeuring and
time with grand kids, fruit stands, drives around Placer County, diet
coke with ice, hard candies, vanilla ice cream cone at the counter in
Loomis or Colfax. He loved visiting Aaron at McDonald's for breakfast
or a diet coke, with a song. He loved visiting Carol at Chick- Fla on Thursdays.
In his earlier years, he was a rules and regulations
kind of man, he had to be strong. In his later years, he became
softer, sweeter, smiled and joked. Bill fought a good fight against
Dementia, Alzheimer's, and many health issues. Bill had spent a year
in memory care at Broadway Senior Living. He spent five months in lock
down against the COVID pandemic. Bill came home on hospice August
3,2020 and in 30 days lived his last days to the fullest. He came
"home" (meaning his girls) and was never alone, amazing care of others
that loved him up, he shared a bed and celebrated 59 years with the
love of his life. He was a faithful believer and had no regrets in
life. He was at peace. He cut up fruit, he laughed, he had purpose to
others in his life, visited with friends and family, ate well at the
table and he was ready. His last meal was unexpected, yet it was his
favorite In and Out Burger. The man that expected you to share a
burger and fries, didn't share not even one fry. He left a legacy of
love to others. He passed away peacefully in hospice at home care on
September 1, 2020 surrounded by his loving family and after a night of
listening to music and praying hands. He took his last breath and
heard, "well done my faithful servant" and he saw my brother again.
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

11:30am - 12:00 pm

Sacramento Valley National Cemetery

5810 Midway Rd, Dixon, CA 95620

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