Helen L. O’Neal, 1924 ~ 2008

Helen L. O’Neal, 84, died on July 30, 2008. She was born on May 31, 1924 at Salmon, Idaho a daughter of Everett and Iris Lish.

She grew up in the Pahsimeroi Valley in Idaho and married C. William (Bill) O’Neal on Aug. 4, 1944 in Missoula, Mont. They lived in Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming during their married life, where Bill worked in the mining industry. Helen was a homemaker, also working as a cook at Southeast Elementary and a housekeeper at Allen Memorial Hospital while living in Moab during the 1960s.

Her life revolved around her family and friends. Helen was the best grandma. Many of her grandchildren’s friends even adopted her as their own “Nana.” Her kind and caring spirit made it easy for many to love her.

She enjoyed music and was a gifted pianist. During her early years, her family provided the music for dances in the valley. She loved gardening, especially growing beautiful flowers. Birdwatching, jigsaw puzzles, bowling, eating meals on the deck, playing cards and Yahtzee, and family reunions were also favorites.

Helen is survived by her husband, Bill, of Moab; daughter, Carolyn (Tony) Lema, of Moab; son, Mike O’Neal, of Moore, Idaho, and son-in-law, Gary (Kathy) Baker of Grand Junction, Colo. She is also survived by her brother, Everett Lish Jr.; sisters, Chelda Miller, Ada Drollinger, and Melva McGraw, all of Idaho; grandchildren, Angela Lema (Bob Hawks), of Grand Junction, Colo., Tony Lema (Kristie) and Joe Lema (Crystal), of Moab, Mike (Cinda) Pena, of Meridian Idaho, Davey O’Neal, of Reno, Nev., Bill Baker (Debbie), Bart (Tera) Baker, Amy (Justin) Tezak, Melissa (Stacey) Cook, all of Grand Junction, Colo., and 15 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, daughter, Mary Baker, brother, Elmer Lish, sister, Leona Mackey, and granddaughter, Lori O’Neal. A memorial service is planned for Aug. 9, at 11 a.m. at St. Pius X Catholic Church. Burial will take place at a later date in May, Idaho.