Thomas F. (Tom) O’Neal of Genoa City, passed away on Sunday, July 23, 2023 at Parkside Manor Assisted Living surrounded by loving nieces and nephews.
Tom was born on July 31, 1936 in Piggott, Arkansas. He was the fifth of six children born to Audie Frank O’Neal, a farmer, and Neoma (Slaughter) O’Neal.
The family moved to Kenosha, where Audie had found factory work in 1947, seeking a better life in the industrial Midwest.
Tom graduated from Mary D. Bradford High School in 1955 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. After university, Tom worked briefly for Kenosha County as a social worker. He then became the first director of Sheridan Nursing Home, where he worked until moving to Washington Manor Nursing Home as a director. He stayed at Washington Manor until his retirement in 2001.
Tom’s great passion, outside of work, was for his dogs. In 1963, he founded Dream Ridge Kennels with his life and business partner Ron Fabis. A 1975 NY Time Article stated that “Dream Ridge” is a name known to Cocker Spaniel enthusiasts on four continents…the kennel has bred 47 champions in this country alone…Dream Ridge cockers also have won titles in England, Venezuela, Brazil and Japan. Later in their careers Tom and Ron also started breeding English Toy Spaniels. Tom would go on to receive a “Breeder of the Year” award from the AKC for his breeding of English Toy Spaniels.
Tom stayed very active in the show dog world until shorty before his death. He was an active member of the Kenosha Rotary Club and, at the time of his death he was the longest tenured Rotarian. Tom served on the board of Hospice Alliance for many years.
He is survived by his brother, Cecil (Rebecca Young) O’Neal of La Chapelle Goneguet, France, thirteen nieces and nephews and numerous great and great-great nieces and nephews.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, Bonnie O’Neal, Maggie Harman and Betty Bailey; brother, Clifton O’Neal and his life partner, Ronald Fabis.
Service Date August 2, 2023
Funeral Home Piasecki Funeral Home
Funeral services honoring Thomas’s life will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 at the Piasecki Funeral Home.
Interment will follow in Sunset Ridge Memorial Park.
A visitation for Thomas will be held on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 from 10:30 a.m. until the time of the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial remembrances to any of the following charity of your choice Hospice Alliance Inc, 10220 Prairie Ridge Blvd, Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158 https://hospicealliance.org, Kenosha Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 577, Kenosha, WI 53141 https://kenosharotary.org, or English Toy Spaniel Club of America https://englishtoyspanielclubofamerica.org/ would be appreciated by the family.
The family would like to express our thanks to Hospice Alliance for the care provided to Tom. In addition, the family would like to thank the staff and community at Parkside Manor for their care, love and support, it was truly Tom’s extended family.