Louis O’Neil Amedee Jr., always known as “O’Neil” but also called “PopO” by his grandchildren and many others, passed away June 5, 2019, with his wife, Marion Pugh Amedee, beside him. O’Neil and Marion celebrated their marriage of 53 years on May 14, 2019.

O’Neil’s life of faith and his merciful passing will be celebrated at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, 501 Delaware Ave., McComb, on Saturday. Visitation will begin at 9 a.m. The Rosary will begin at 10:30 a.m., with the Holy Mass following at 11. Father Brian Kaskie will officiate. O’Neil will be buried privately at 11 a.m. Monday in Baton Rouge.

O’Neil was born Sept. 20, 1946, in Baton Rouge to Louis O’Neil “Peggy” Amedee Sr. and Myrrh Dupuy Amedee.

He was the third of seven children and was raised by his parents — with the love and help of his grandmother, Urline Dupuy Hernandez — in his unwavering Catholic faith. O’Neil attended Redemptorist High School in Baton Rouge. Soon after high school, he went on a blind date with Marion Pugh, who immediately decided that he was the one. Who could blame her haste? He had sparkling blue eyes and an easy smile. They were married on May 14, 1966, and, for that, their five children and 14 grandchildren are forever grateful.

O’Neil worked his way up at Exxon in Baton Rouge, eventually retiring from the Exxon Mobile Lubricants Plant in Port Allen after 35 years of service. After retirement, O’Neil and Marion moved just outside of McComb, where O’Neil designed and built a beautiful home on acres and acres of land.

As PopO, he fulfilled his dream to create a place for his and MomO’s children and grandchildren to build bonfires, shoot fireworks, hide in a deep clay crevice named “Rainbow Canyon,” ride with Uncle Tim in the Land Cruiser up and down “Mount SteepO,” and jump from fallen logs into Topisaw Creek. For many years, his yellow labs, DawgO, Molly and Moose, were also along for the adventures.

As for O’Neil, we sometimes joked that he retired to move dirt with big machines (or maybe to buy big machines to move dirt). He dug ponds. He built and rebuilt barrier walls. He bought tractors. He bought dump trucks. He got them stuck in the mud and, with the help of good friends, unstuck. He broke them and he fixed them. Even in his final months, he ordered parts and instructed his grandsons as they returned the family’s 1973 Land Cruiser to service. Everyone who knew O’Neil knew that he could build or fix anything and everything.

His ability to build and fix things came in handy at O’Neil and Marion’s “new” church in McComb, St. Alphonsus. O’Neil and Marion were welcomed so graciously by the church and gave themselves immediately into service. O’Neil led maintenance and special projects for St. Alphonsus for many years. Almost anything that needed doing at the church, O’Neil could and did do. For several years, O’Neil also served the church as financial secretary.

O’Neil was also active in the Knights of Columbus. He was a 3rd and 4th Degree Knight and Past Grand Knight in the Charles R. Brill Council, No. 8054; and was a 4th Degree Knight in the St. Padre Pio Council, No. 2969. He and his son, Tim, were yearly attendees of the Holy Week Retreat at Manresa. O’Neil also served the School Sisters of Notre Dame at St. Mary of the Pines as a pallbearer for many beloved Sisters.

O’Neil was preceded in death by his parents, his grandmother and his sister, Myrrh Elizabeth “Myrrh Liz” Amedee.

He is survived by his wife, Marion; his children, April Bretz (Dean), Tim Amedee (Karen), Peggy Crossland (Mike), Neil Amedee (Lesleigh) and Jeanette Donnelly; his grandchildren, Jacob, Sean and Danielle Bretz, Elizabeth and Ethan Amedee, Nicholas, Samantha, and Bryan Crossland, Justin, Thomas, Christopher, Tim, and Kynleigh Amedee, and Max Donnelly; his brothers and sisters, James “Jimbo” Amedee, Judith “Judi” Boullion, Mary Amedee, Maralyn “MiMi” Musso and Mitchell Amedee; his uncle, Ralph Dupuy; and his aunt, Edna Earle “Edie” Mattei.

O’Neil touched so many people in his life with his easy demeanor and his willingness to help. He was a man of great Catholic faith who lived with grace. He will be loved and missed by so many who will, one day, join him in heaven. Until then, O’Neil would advise that we all “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.” — St. Padre Pio.

Share condolences at www.hartmanjonesfuneralhome.com.

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