W. Dean O’Neil, 85, of Meyersdale, died January 14, 2021 at Meyersdale Healthcare and Rehabilitation. Born February 15, 1935 in Meyersdale the son of Michael and Susan (Kern) O’Neil.
Preceded in death by his parents; and wife of 63 years, Rita G. O’Neil.
Survived by his brothers: Eugene (Emma Jean) O’Neil and Ken (Lynnie) O’Neil; nieces and nephews: Tammy and Jeff Hoover, Heidi O’Neil, Michael S. O’Neil, Ryan and Jacque O’Neil, Roger O’Neil, Brenda Kern, Bradley (Tammy) Garlitz, Greggory (Nancy) Garlitz, Carol Shuck, Wade (Jane) Shumaker, John (Elizabeth) Shumaker Jr. and Carlene Shumaker.
He was a 1953 graduate of Meyersdale High School. He worked as a cutter-operator in the Salisbury Undergarment Factory for 4 years. On September 15, 1956 he married Rita Marie Garlitz. Dean served the United States Army in the 34th Infantry division in Augusburg, Germany in 1958. When he got out of the service, he worked in Ohio on a road construction crew and in 1960 he began working for Henry J. Beamer as a salesman. In 1976, he purchased the Ford Dealership from H. J. Beamer Ford and along with Rita, they operated Dean O’Neil Ford.
They outgrew the building in 1984 and built a new facility and in 1985 relocated Dean O’Neil Ford along Route 219 just south of Meyersdale with a grand celebration with Dean receiving a plaque for outstanding work done by the O’Neil Ford Dealership in Meyersdale.
During his life, Dean served the community in many capacities: he was a member of the Meyersdale Fire Department; the Meyersdale Area Ambulance Association, where he served as secretary; founding member of the Meyersdale Area Jaycees, where he served as President from 1966-1967; he helped construct the sugar camp on the Maple Valley grounds; was a 1971 PA Maple Festival Director; President of the Maple Festival from 1974-1976; Meyersdale Lions Club President from1976-1977; President of the Meyersdale Chamber of Commerce in 1978; member of the building committee for the New Senior Citizen Center in 1982; Meyersdale Public Library Board President from 1991-1995; 1993-1995 President of the Somerset County Development Council; member of the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce in 1996, and he served on the board of directors in 1997; Meyersdale Lions Club President in 2000-2001; and in 2014 he was the Meyersdale Lions Club Citizen of the Year. Dean was also member of Trinity Lutheran Church of Glen Savage.
Dean O’Neil Ford was recognized in 1977 for the highest car sales performances in his zone of Ford Dealerships, in 1978 they received the Division’s Truck Leadership Award, and in 1982 they received the Ford Motor Company’s Distinguished Achievement Award for the fourth time in five years.
Throughout Dean’s life, he worked tirelessly to build a successful business and to improve his home town of Meyersdale. Like his mother, he loved roses and gardening. He lived a Christian faith, loved his family, church and country. He truly will be missed by many.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial contribution to the Trinity Lutheran Church of Glen Savage, 630 Church Rd., Fairhope, PA 15538 or the Meyersdale Area Public Library, PO Box 98, Meyersdale, PA 15552.
Arrangements by Price Funeral Service, Inc., Meyersdale. www.WilliamRowePrice.com.
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