Gloria Anne O'Neill (nee Vitelli) bid farewell to this world peacefully on October 24, 2023, at the age of 81 in St. Charles, MO, surrounded by family. She was born on October 1, 1942, in West St. Paul, MN, and boy, did she leave a lasting impression on those whose paths she crossed!
Gloria was a force to be reckoned with, armed with a heart full of love and a knack for making people laugh. She had a reputation for being as giving as Santa Claus, as funny as a stand-up comedian, and as honest as a lie detector test. Her strength was unmatched, and she had faith that could move mountains. This faith and strength helped carry her through 28 years of widowhood, starting when her youngest daughter was 15, and they sustained her during her final year following her pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis.
While Gloria's career title may not have been conventional, she excelled at the occupation of loving and caring for others. This began with her cherished husband, Roger J. O'Neill, whom she married on August 3, 1963; he was the love of her life. Her children and grandchildren were her pride and joy, and she poured her heart into ensuring their happiness. Her caring and giving nature extended beyond her family to the wide circle of friends she collected throughout her life. Gloria’s greatest joy was in giving to others: even in her last hours on this earth, she wanted to ensure that her daughters did not forget to bring treats for the caring ICU nurses at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital.
When she wasn't busy spreading love, Gloria enjoyed sewing, baking, knitting, and playing games. It was her way of stitching together moments of joy and savoring the sweetness of life. The list of her sewing creations is both lengthy and diverse. She made multiple sets of matching dresses for her daughters to wear for Christmas and Easter. Sometimes she also sewed a matching dress for herself and a coordinating tie for Roger. Her sewing skills extended to a variety of intricate and glamorous prom and wedding dresses, personalized baptismal gowns, and a multitude of priests' vestments for every season of the liturgical calendar.
Gloria will forever hold a special place in the hearts of her daughters, Mary Kay (Bill) Rayens, Karen (Brad) Bangert, Ellen (Eddie) Graybeal, Sharon (Bob) Erickson, and Maureen (Mark Meiners) O'Neill. Her legacy lives on through her grandchildren, Kel (Mike Dey), Emily, Nathan, Hunter, Flannery, and Liam Rayens; Jon, Mark, and Brendon Bangert, and Lauren (Austin) Healy; and Jade, Joelle, and Nick Erickson. We cannot forget to mention Gigi's precious great-granddaughter, Sabine Dey. Gloria also leaves behind her siblings Jack (Char) Vitelli, Jean (Ed) Neira, and Lynn (Steve) Casper, who will treasure their memories of her, as will numerous nieces and nephews and her many friends. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Roger J. O'Neill, and her parents, John and Leona (Hein) Vitelli.
A mass to celebrate Gloria's life will take place on Monday, October 30, 2023, at 10am at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church (St. Charles, MO); a livestream of the ceremony will be available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eks_i1k4ROA . We will be serving up a delicious luncheon afterward because Gloria would not have it any other way. The interment ceremony will be on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, at 10:30am at Fort Snelling National Cemetery (Minneapolis, MN). And you guessed it, another luncheon will follow since Gloria so valued fellowship and good food.
The Baue Funeral Home Cave Springs in St. Charles, MO, is assisting the family during this time. If you would like to keep the spirit of giving alive in Gloria’s honor, we request donations to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation https://fundraise.givesmart.com/vf/PFFTribute/GloriaONeill or Stray Rescue of St. Louis https://www.strayrescue.org/gloriaoneill.
Gloria Anne O'Neill may have left us, but her legacy of love, laughter, and sewing adventures will forever be etched in our hearts. Rest in peace, Gloria, and may your heavenly journey be filled with joy and endless witty remarks.