Lawrence O’Neill-4-15-2024

Welcome to the
memorial page for 

Lawrence E. O'Neill

December 12, 1933
~April 7, 2024



MEMORIAL SERVICE- Monday 4-15-2024
United Fellowship Baptist Church
603 Third Ave.
Asbury Park, NJ 07712
6:00 PM
Services will be livestreamed on Facebook page

Family & Friends may gather @ 5:30 PM

LAWRENCE "BUDDY" O'NEILL, aged 90, peacefully transitioned at home on Sunday, April 7, 2024, in Neptune, New Jersey, with his devoted daughter Jennifer and her husband Haven by his bedside. He lived a fulfilling and meaningful life which began in Charleston, SC, where he was born as the third child among twelve to the late Lawrence and Dorothy O'Neill.

Buddy received his early education at Avery Institute and Immaculate Conception School in Charleston, and his spiritual foundation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

Buddy's industrious and hardworking nature was evident from his youth; he began working with his father on houses doing electrical work at a remarkably young age, reportedly as early as 7 years old. Later, he adjusted his age to enlist in the US Army a year ahead of schedule. This marked the beginning of his remarkable 20-year military career, predominantly serving as a Signal Corps training instructor. His service encompassed deployments during the Korean and Vietnamese Conflicts and he was  stationed in other diverse locales such as Germany, Japan, Fort Gordon in Athens, GA, and Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX. Rising in rank to First Sergeant, he received accolades such as the Good Conduct Medal of Honor and numerous commendations before honorably retiring from the Army in 1972 at Fort Monmouth in Eatontown, NJ.

In 1969, Buddy married Beatrice Rose (Alleyne) of Red Bank, NJ, and together they raised their beloved daughter Jennifer Natalie. Embraced by the Alleyne family, Buddy became an integral part of their lives as a cherished son, brother, uncle, and mentor, sharing wisdom, practical skills, and a zest for life's nuances. His storytelling talents brought laughter and joy, creating a warm gathering space at their home on Stamford Drive.

Buddy's nurturing and devoted nature to family extended beyond his immediate kin, exemplified in his care for his mother-in-law, Lillian. As she grew older and required additional support, he expanded their home, welcomed her in, and cared for her just as he would his own mother.

In October 2018, Bea and Buddy celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and Bea's 75th birthday with a gala celebration at the Shadowbrook at Shrewsbury, attended by local dignitaries, family, and friends from across the country.  During that time, a scholarship fund was established in the name of the O'Neill Family and Friends under the auspices of the Central Jersey Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc (NANBPWC), a community service organization in which Bea was a lifetime member.

After his Army retirement, he worked for Sun Oil Company before venturing out on his own to become a successful businessman and property owner. Post-military life revealed Buddy's entrepreneurial flair, as he launched his first business venture in 1984, taking ownership of the Redwood Inn in Neptune, NJ, and in 1987 collaborating with longtime companions Fred and “Cookie” Smith to establish the Oasis Bar in Asbury Park. He also invested in rental properties in Monmouth County, Charleston SC, and Florida, showcasing his knack for success.

Deeply involved in his Neptune community, Buddy served on the School Board and was appointed to the Housing Authority, earning respect as a leader and advocate. Additionally, he joined the Neptune Democratic Club and the Gables Homeowners Association. His contributions extended to the Monmouth County Men's Club where he served as President, and he also was one of the founders and first President of the NOISE social club.

Buddy is preceded in death by his wife, parents, and son Lawrence (Larry), along with siblings Melvin O’Neill and Cornielle Chavers. He is survived by his daughters Jennifer (Haven) Melton, Traci (Mark) Spencer, Sharon O'Neill, Lillian Dunning, and Jamie (Daniel) Maskel; grandchildren Joseph, Gabrielle, Lauren, Page, Adam, Lindsey, and Stetson; 8 great-grandchildren; brothers Kenneth O’Neill and Anthony O’Neill; sisters Virginia Pyle, Lauretta Bumpus, Patricia Bass, Janice Blair, Marguerite Bresnihan, Charlotte Gordon, and Lynne Maybank; brothers-in-law Charles Alleyne and Michael Alleyne; sisters-in-law Carmen Alleyne, Gail Anderson, Marva Dizard, and Ramona Young; godson Lawrence Gordon; nieces, nephews, other relatives and a multitude of friends, including his dear friend and former business partner Natalie "Cookie" Smith.

Buddy's legacy of hard work, love, laughter, and community impact will be forever cherished by his vast circle of family, friends, and community members.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the O'Neill Family and Friends Scholarship Fund. Contributions are tax-deductible and will go towards providing scholarships to deserving high school seniors in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Checks should be made payable to The Central Jersey Club, NANBPWC with a note in the memo, O'Neill F&F Scholarship Fund, and mailed to P. O. Box 1161, Asbury Park, NJ 07712.


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3 thoughts on “Lawrence O’Neill-4-15-2024

  1. Archie Greenwood says:

    You will always be remembered for your service in the military ,
    contributions to the
    Neptune School District , business successes and numerous events in
    Monmouth County. Most of all , we will remember all the times spent with you and Bea.
    Rest in peace Our Brother.
    Archie Greenwood and Family.

  2. Sharon ONeill says:

    Celebrate the life and times of Lawrence E. O’Neill by sharing your favorite memories and photos of Dad.

    Here’s another one that I love.
    What a sharp, disciplined and commanding presence! Quite a remarkable transformation from the previous photo. Notice the Korean war signal corp (red) patch.

    One of the things I loved most about Dad is his ability to keep a secret. You can bet if you shared information with him, he would never betray your confidence. Name, rank and serial number… that’s all you’ll get…if that! 🙂

  3. Sharon O'Neill says:

    This is my Dad as a happy, go-lucky new Army recruit. He carried that same infectious smile all through his life
    and was a friend to all. After all,
    his nickname was ‘Buddy’.
    Love you Dad and miss you so much!

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