Copeland Funeral Service

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Patricia O’Neill of Beaufort, SC, died August 29 after a short illness. Trish was born July 6, 1952 in Houston, the daughter of James F. O’Neill and Jeanne Schmitt O’Neill. She spent her childhood on Air Force bases around the globe, including Germany, Italy and Turkey as well as various states across the U.S., at duty stations of her father who was a pilot during World War II, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War. In the mid-1960s, the family settled in Charleston, where Trish graduated from Bishop England High School in 1970 and the College of Charleston in 1974. She then earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina. Trish is survived by a sister Mary O’Neill of Washington, DC; and four brothers, Frank O’Neill of Jupiter, FL; Steve O’Neill of Greenville, SC; Michael O’Neill of Jupiter, FL; and Thomas O’Neill of Miami, FL; as well as three nieces, Kate, Tori, and Devon; and three nephews, Nick, Zach and Alex. Trish was pre-deceased by a sister, Jeanne O’Neill, and her parents.

After graduate school at USC, Trish joined the U.S. Navy working as a public affairs officer at the Brooklyn Naval Station; in Meridian, MS; in Seoul, South Korea; and at the Pentagon. In 1982-1983, she taught English composition to midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. She closed her military career in Norfolk, VA, then joined a defense contractor as a civilian in Norfolk. She retired to Beaufort in 2015.

Trish was modest about her many talents. She was an equestrian and athlete (tennis and golf) and a black belt in jiu jitsu. She played the piano and guitar and sewed elaborate quilts. After a start with photography, she became an accomplished artist, selling her paintings, lithographs and watercolors in her small business. Trish was a master gardener and volunteered with the Clemson Cooperative Extension. She also volunteered in her neighborhood at Pigeon Point in Beaufort, as chair of the welcoming committee, and was always ready to be part of the communities that aligned with her wide-ranging interests.

Above all, Trish was devoted to her large family, eagerly anticipating every get-together and always reaching out to make sure she was up-to-speed on the latest events in her family’s life.

Trish will be interred at the National Cemetery in Beaufort, near her parents, where she volunteered her gardening skills for many years. Because of COVID-19, a private service for the immediate family only will be held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on September 25.

Online Condolences

  1. Bernadette Macchi says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Trish was a good friend and my go to gal for all things gardening. We gathered when that was still a thing and kept in touch via email in the more recent months. I will keep her in my prayers but sure will miss her smiling face.

  2. George Utter says:

    An unpleasant surpirse! Trish and I signed into the Jt Warfighting Center in Suffiolk, VA on the same day….and worked as contractors together from 1996 until I left in 2005. I bumped into her shortly after she moved here in the library, she gave me a phone number, which I promptly lost….and have regretted not re-newing our friendship. A great lady to work with and I know she will be missed. My condolences to the family…to whcih she was devoted.

  3. Laura Froehlich Verges says:

    Trish worked with my father at the Brooklyn Navy yard. I met her when home for visits. Me and my whole family fell in love with her and considered her part of our family. Trish, as well as my folks, my brother and future sister in law continued our time together when they all moved to Va Beach. As each retired, Trish continued being a part of our family at weddings, baptisms, birthdays and funerals. She always had a smile for everyone , and never an unkind word about anyone. I always looked forward to our visits. My family sends our deepest condolences to your family. I wish I could have met you all. We will miss her. Love to you all during this difficult time. Laura, Vinnie, Katie and Sarah Verges

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