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Agnes O'Neil, Lifelong Charlestown Resident

Agnes O'Neil lived most of her life on Pearl Street, raised seven children and was active in community issues.

Agnes O’Neil (Furlong), of Charlestown, died peacefully October 16, 2011, at the age of 92.

A Memorial Mass was held Wednesday, October 19, 2011 in the St. Francis de Sales Church at 10 AM. All friends and relatives joyfully invited. Interment was private.

Agnes was the loving wife of the late Lawrence (Lon) T. O’Neil; dear mother of the late Lawrence (Lonnie) Jr., Edward, Daniel, Michael, Helen, Nancy O’Neil Hannan, and Mary O’Neil Brock; beloved grandmother of Lynn, Kathy, Karen, Christine, Richard, Kerry, Deirdre, Bridget, Brendan, Kristen, Daniel and Jana; beloved great-grandmother of Jillian, Steven, Nickolas, Olivia, Sydney, Isabella, Colin, Aiden, Jessica, Will, Connor, Caity, Lila, Fiona, Anabel, Layla and Lucas; loving sister of Edward Furlong, aged 90, and her deceased brothers and sisters Anna Furlong Keenan, Marion, Nicholas, Walter, Lester, Thomas, William and John Furlong; survived by many loving nieces and nephews; mother-in-law to Joanne Baldwin O’Neil, Sheila Powers O’Neil, Abdul Hannan and Tom Brock. Loving friend of Clare Deangelis.

Agnes lived a life of courage, sweetness and nobility. She was a loving mother who gave everything she had to those she loved.

Agnes was born April 17, 1919 on Ferrin Street in Charlestown. When she was six her family moved to Pearl Street, where she lived most of her life. Agnes was a competitive swimmer and champion speller. She graduated from St. Francis de Sales and then from Charlestown High School. In 1941 she married Lon O’Neil. Together they raised seven children.

As a Charlestown High School Booster Agnes was one of the schools avid football and hockey fans. Always supportive and forever optimistic about chances for a championship, she faithfully went to her kids’ hockey and football games. She was an active member of many groups in Charlestown, including the Daughters of Isabella and St. Francis de Sales Parish. Her interest and love of Charlestown kept her involved in town issues. She vigorously opposed, with many other residents, Boston's plans to tear down and rebuild Charlestown.

Agnes was a ceramicist and a bird lover, and a loving support to many of our friends. There was always room at our table, or in our ’49 Nash, for friends who wanted to tag along.

When Agnes was in her sixties, after all the kids were grown and on their own and Lon had retired from fishing, she went back to school at Bunker Hill Community College. In film class she studied ‘Citizen Kane’ and in literature class read Emile Zola’s ‘Inundation’. She had an ever expanding mind and a keen curiosity in just about everything.

She demonstrated faith through grief and hardship, and wore a peaceful, transcendent smile, even in her final days. She was never too tired to talk or to help, whether it was to do some late-night ironing or get up early, on little sleep, and get seven kids fed, dressed and out the door for school.

Her compassion and love will always be present.

In Agnes’s memory memorials may be made to the charity of choice, maybe keeping in mind the needs of children.

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