WILLIAM MICHAEL O'NEILL
June 28, 1947 – July 5, 2012
Mike was born in Springfield, Ohio – the only child of Eugene and Mary (Stokes) O'Neill. After living several years in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the family moved to Dayton, Ohio where Mike attended Chaminade High School. He then gained early admittance to Trinity University in Dublin, Ireland, and earned his degree in English.
Upon graduation he accepted a job in Detroit in the late 1960's as the Director of Automotive & National Customer Service for Blue Cross & Blue Shield. He also owned and operated an interstate freight hauling company. In the 1980's Mike became the Chief Operating Officer and Pastoral Associate for St. James Church in Ferndale, MI. During this time he also earned his BA in Theology from Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit. Most recently Mike worked for the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and Gleaners as an accountant.
In 1995 Mike met and married Ami Margaret Hostutler. Together they spent 47 days crossing the United States by bicycle before settling down in Troy, Michigan to raise their six beautiful daughters. They also became faithful members of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Troy.
Mike was always a devout and questioning Christian. One of his earliest memories was the Christmas Eve at his Grandparents, when Mike was finally considered old enough to attend mid-night Mass. As a young boy, Mike considered becoming a priest – he also took the opportunity to live and study in a small Buddhist Community in Yellow Springs, Ohio. This experience would cement him to Zen practice and kindle a future interest in Asian adoption.
Besides his family, Mike's great passions included writing, biking, scuba diving. . . and surprise tea parties given by his precious daughters.
Mike is survived by:
Ami – his wife of 17 years and their children: Quinn FuBing – their daughter, Margaret FuQing – their daughter, Pema Jiang Tsan– their daughter, Norah JiangYi – their daughter, Lachlan ZiHui – their daughter, Kassidy YiQiu – their daughter, and by Gibbs – their lovable golden lab, and Mr. Murphy – their orange tabby (tiger) cat . . . . . and several fish
Few cross over the river. Most are stranded on this side. On the riverbank they run up and down.
But the wise person, following the way, crosses over, beyond the reach of death.
Free from desire, Free from possessions, Free from attachment and appetite,
Following the seven lights of awakening, and rejoicing greatly in his freedom,
In this world the wise person becomes themselves a light,
Pure, shining, free.
. . . . . . from the Dhammapada
Memorial Contributions may be sent to:
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Rector's Discretionary Fund, 5500 N. Adams Road, Troy, MI 48098 (on memo line: "O'Neill Family)
Gleaners Community Food Bank, 2131 Beaufait St., Detroit, MI 48207-3410.
Read William O'Neill's Obituary and Guestbook on desmondfuneralhome.com.