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KATHLEEN R. O’NEIL, age 82, of Wallingford, CT passed away peacefully while in MidState Medical Center on October 23, 2023. Kathleen was born on January 10, 1941, in New Haven, CT. She was the daughter of the late Frances Thomas O’Neil and Rose (Palmisano) O’Neil.
Kathleen grew up in New Haven, CT and attended Clinton Avenue School, Fair Haven Middle School, and Sacred Heart Academy where she enjoyed Latin, debating and playing basketball. Kathleen entered the Newburgh Dominican Order in Newburgh, NY on September 5, 1958. She received her B.S. Degree in Education from Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY, an M.A. Degree in Sociology, an M.A. Degree in Reading from Southern Connecticut State College, and a 6th Year Degree in Educational Administration from Southern Connecticut State College. Kathleen was also a Yale Fellow for several years and studied a variety of curricula in the United States and abroad.
Kathleen’s work in education began at St. Paul’s Elementary School in Jersey City, NJ, Our Lady of Fatima in Scarsdale, NY, elementary education in Gloucester, NJ and in Mount Vernon, NY. In 1967, Kathleen became a New Haven (CT) public school teacher and taught at Welch Annex School, Scranton School, Worthington Hooker, East Rock Community School, and Fair Haven Middle School. During that time, Katheen wrote a successful Title VII Grant based on Kodaly Music Methodology to increase student test scores, especially those in reading for the City of New Haven. She administered the grant and the school for several years. This was the first magnet school in New Haven and became the model for magnet schools across the United States.
In addition to her work in education, Kathleen acquired her real estate license and became a top-selling real estate agent for Beasley Realty in West Haven, CT and Re/Max Elite Realty in Stamford, CT.
Upon retiring from the New Haven Public Schools, Kathleen became the Municipal Grant Writer for the Town of Oxford (CT). She served in this capacity from 2006 until 2021, bringing millions of dollars to improve the quality of life for all the residents of Oxford.
Kathleen was a talented writer and artist. She loved music, theatre and opera, reading, poetry, painting, museums, fishing, travel, the ocean, and most of all loved children. Her extraordinary talents and generous heart touched the lives of all she came in contact with. “When you take your last breath, all that matters is who you loved and who loves you.”
Kathleen is survived by her dear friend, caregiver and 25-year companion Mary Lopresti, Sheila Pedicini (sister), June Turpin (sister), James Turpin (brother) and sister-in-law Kathy Turpin, Gerri Turpin (sister-in-law), and many cousins, nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by Thomas Turpin (brother), Mary Turpin (sister), Elizabeth Northrup (sister), and Phillip Turpin (brother).
The hours for visitation will be held on Sunday from 3-6pm at the West Haven Funeral Home at the Green. Her funeral procession will leave the funeral home on Monday morning at 9:30 for a Mass of Christian Burial in St. John Vianney Church, St. John XXIII Parish at 10am. Interment will follow, in the family plot, in Evergreen Cemetery. Donations may be made in Kathleen’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at http://www.stjude.org, or to a charity of your choice.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
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