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O'NEILL, Garry

10/02/1943 - 14/06/2022

Garry John O’Neill, 79, of Strathpine Qld, passed away 14 June 2022 due to medical conditions and age related organ failure. Pre-deceased by his siblings; eldest sister Betty May Rutherford (2011), Shirley Anne Bower (1988) and Brian William Joseph Aloysius "Dyna" O'Neill (2013) as well as Kevin and John whom Dad never mentioned beyond their names.

Born in Melbourne 10 February 1943 and double-orphaned by 1956, Dad graduated from Parade College (amidst a class of delinquents) holding a rank in the Cadets that required Servicemen to salute a kid) and undertook an Arts degree at Melbourne University before he married Mary Eastwood 05 July 1968.

Clearly no firearms were involved as Michele Ann did not arrive until over a year later in July ‘69, with myself tagging along in ‘72 as a slightly late 3rd anniversary reminder; I’d not go so far as to say a gift although I was not long from being an amusing sight to behold scooting around in callipers (Dad is to thank for picking up on my wonky hips, bless him).

Speaking of firearms and wonky hips; after producing us in New York, Dad toted us half-way across the United States before getting bored and stopping in Tulsa Oklahoma where there were a lot of Roughnecks drilling a lot of oil (and a heck of a lot of tornadoes). Before becoming a security-scanner alarmist (that hip), he attended Tulsa Junior College to bolster his credentials and become one of the highest paid Freshman around them there parts.

Working in the fledgling field of computing for American Airlines did of course involve traveling and upward mobility led to onward mobility and thus we became some of the best (flight coupon) traveled residents of Broken Arrow after moving from Long Island.

I missed the first musical tour to Tassie and mainland Australia due to the indignity of not being born, but Michele “I’m not Australian-I’m an American” made quite the impression as a sidekick to the self-tuning Folk-singer and co.

Between galivanting back and forth between America and Australia he visited Ireland with us and we traveled around the Republic only. Dad was certain that if we went to Ulster (Northern Ireland); things would not go well. So we didn't, and things accordingly went quite well aside from Mary twisting her ankle fleeing a wee little bat in a castle tower stairwell. We didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so typically, we managed both between us all. Dad insisted that I was not allowed to kiss the Blarney stone, and by the Good Lord we all know he did not need it!

In 1981 everything changed. Of course, it had to as the entire family relocated to Melbourne. Garry continued in the Computer Engineering game that had kept us fed, housed and travelling up until this point. Why stop when he was on a roll?

His ability for rolling his 'r's didn't hurt when it came to languages either, and it wasn't just for the earlier trip to Europe (before the kids); but he continued with the Latin family of languages and then lastly (we will get to that) Japanese. It's not everyone's uncle who will learn the basics of a language just for their wedding, but Dad did.

After a series of major life events rolled through the '90’s, Garry followed opportunities' call to Sydney (touring Tassie briefly once again circa 2000) before more bumps saw him leading with his Japanese skills and landing in Strathpine-where he took up another calling altogether-but still found time for donning leathers and helmet to visit the Kings.

He is survived by his children Michele and Sean O’Neill, his nieces and nephews and his great-nephews and nieces.

Garry was cremated last week according to arrangements already in place; but that is not to say that he will leave us with no music and a final toast!

A wake will be held on 09 July 2022 for immediate family and determined but not interminable cousins.

Now, ourselves alone, we comprise the present generations.



Date listed: 23/6/2022

Publications: Digital

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