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William Gordon O'Neill
(March 28, 1926 - July 29, 2014)

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William Gordon O'Neill

U.S. Veteran

William G. O"Neill, 88, former managing partner of the law firm Obermayer Rebman Maxwell & Hippel and past chairman of the Board at Waverly Heights continuing care retirement community.

William G. O'Neill, a longtime Philadelphia tax attorney who helped found one of the first continuing care retirement communities in Philadelphia, died Tuesday, July 29, from complications of a stroke at Waverly Heights.

Born in the Dunmore section of Scranton, Pa., Mr. O'Neill was one of nine children; his father, Harry P. O'Neill, represented Lackawanna County as a Pa. state representative for 20 years and later served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mr. O'Neill entered Penn State University as a Naval Officer-in-training in 1943. Thirty-two months later at the age of 20 he graduated and was commissioned as one of the youngest Naval Officers in the U.S.

After naval duty, he enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, graduating in 1950 with a Doctor of Jurisprudence. He decided to become a tax lawyer and joined the office if Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service and was assigned to its New York office as a trial lawyer. After 10 years there, he came to Philadelphia as a member of Obermayer, Rebman, Maxwell & Hippel; he organized a tax department and served as its Head for the next 32 years. Mr. O'Neill became one of the leading attorneys in the Philadelphia area working with Professional Corporations. He also pursued many tax-related endeavors during those years, such as lecturer at Tax Forums at the University of Pennsylvania, Penn State, Lehigh University and Temple University, where he was chair of its annual Tax Forum and an instructor in its Law Schools' Masters of Law program. He wrote for law journals and spoke and presented a paper at the annual New York University Tax Seminar, the top forum for tax specialists in the United States.

At the Obermayer firm, Mr. O'Neill served twice as Managing Partner and was the long-time chairman of the firm as well.

In 1992, upon departing Obermayer, Mr. O'Neill formed O'Neill, Bragg & Staffin, in Plymouth Meeting, where he retired in 2006.

Mr. O'Neill was a member, and President (1998-2003), of the Bachelors' Barge Club, of Boathouse Row; he was also a former member of the Union League, and many Bar associations.

Mr. O'Neill and his wife, Jean, celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on December 29, 2013. They moved into Waverly Heights, the Gladwyne continuing care facility, in 2002, and also have a home in Cape May, New Jersey. Mr. O'Neill was a founding member (and general counsel) at Waverly for many years. He was chairman of Waverly's Board of Directors from 1991 to 1999.

Besides his wife, Eugenia (nee Crapelli), he is survived by four children: William, his wife, Katherine Garrett, Brooklyn, N.Y., Timothy, his wife, Mary Kate, Silver Spring, Md., Thomas, Venice, CA., Ellen, her husband, Anthony Fazio, College Park, Md. Also surviving are six grandchildren and his sister, Lois Kelly, of Scranton, PA.

A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday August 2, 11 AM at St. John Vianney Church, 350 Conshohocken State Rd. Gladwyne, PA. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemtery, West Conshohocken, PA. Relatives and friends are invited to a Visitation Friday from 7 to 9 P.M. at McCONAGHY FUNERAL HOME, 328 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, PA. or on Saturday from 9:30 to 10:45 A.M. at the Church.

Memorial donations may be made in his name to Juvenile Law Center, 1315 Walnut St. #400, Philadelphia, PA 19107 or to American Diabetes Association , 150 Monument Rd. Suite 100, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 or to Waverly Foundation Scholarship Fund, 1400 Waverly Rd., Gladwyne, PA 19035.

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