Hugh Lee O’Neal Sr died February 20, 2023 peacefully at his home surrounded by his family. He was born September 14, 1934 and grew up on a farm in Stark, Georgia. In High School, he participated in Future Farmers of America [FFA] and then continued on to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC). He was at ABAC for only two years when he joined the Navy and began his training at NAS Pensacola to become a naval fighter pilot. After earning his gold wings, he would serve four years active duty and in the reserves for sixteen years. Following active duty, he attended the University of Georgia and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
When he graduated, he worked for the Travelers Insurance Company. Seven years later, he left Travelers to join in partnership with Fred Eve to form Eve-O’Neal Insurance Agency. He would eventually purchase the agency and continue as a partner until his retirement in 2001.
Hugh served in his church on the board of Trustees. He loved Georgia football, especially listening to Larry Munson call the play-by-play on crisp October weekends as he raked leaves in the yard with his sons. Growing up on a farm, he learned to build and repair everything himself. He spent a lifetime modeling that to his sons.
Hugh is preceded in death by his parents Asa Ellsworth and Eva Mae O’Neal, and his brothers Alvin O’Neal and Ennis O’Neal. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Gloria Malcolm O’Neal, and his sons: Lee (Lisa) O’Neal, Alan O’Neal, and Brian (Sandy) O’Neal. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, Harrison O’Neal, Chadwick (Hannah) O’Neal, Elise O’Neal, Candler O’Neal, Justin O’Neal, Travis (Savannah) O’Neal, Candace (Matt) Manley, Chandler (Katherine) O’Neal, Ethan O’Neal, and one great granddaughter, Genevieve O’Neal
The family will receive visitors at 11:30am with a Celebration of Life beginning at 12:30. This will be held at the Poole Funeral Home at 1970 Eagle Drive, Woodstock, GA 30189.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.