John Diehl O'Neill Sr., 88, company president, CPA

February 29, 2004

John Diehl O'Neill Sr., retired president and chairman of the board of Lion Brothers Co. Inc. and a former member of the Baltimore County Revenue Authority, died of lung cancer Monday at Mercy Ridge retirement community in Timonium. The former longtime Ruxton resident was 88.

Mr. O'Neill was born in Baltimore and raised on Park Heights Avenue. He was a 1932 graduate of Calvert Hall College High School and earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Baltimore in 1937. He became a certified public accountant in 1941.

He began his business career with Pangborn Corp. in Hagerstown, and from 1941 to 1947 was vice president of F.X. Hooper Co. Inc. in Glen Arm.

Mr. O'Neill joined Lion Brothers in Owings Mills as a vice president in 1956. He was president and chairman of the board before retiring in 1984. The company is one of the world's largest manufacturers of embroidered cloth patches.

"Numbers was his game," said a daughter, Carol O. Shear of Ruxton. "He loved numbers."

In 1971, Mr. O'Neill was named to the Baltimore County Revenue Authority by County Executive Dale Anderson and later was its vice chairman. Earlier, he had been a member of the county Board of Review of Public Building Construction. He was a past president of the National Association of Cost Accountants.

He was a member of the board of advisers of Catholic Charities and a member of the Cardinal Shehan Scholarship Committee. He also was a member of the board of St. Joseph Medical Center and was a founder and board member of the Maryland Taxpayers Association.

In 1937, he married Carlyn E. Forster, who died last year.

Mr. O'Neill was an avid sports fan.

He was a communicant of Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Baltimore and Ware avenues in Towson, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered yesterday.

He is also survived by two sons, John D. O'Neill Jr. of Cockeysville and Dennis G. O'Neill of Hunt Valley; another daughter, Patricia A. Baker of Timonium; a sister, Marguerite O. Benarick of Abingdon; seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

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