Deborah Holden O’Neill passed away Thursday, December 17, 2020 after a long struggle with lung cancer and COPD. She was 81 years old.
Born in Orange, New Jersey, she was raised by her mother, the late Evelyn Louise Howe and New Jersey State Justice, John A Zeis. Her father is the late Hayden Pendexter Holden. She is the stepsister of the late John G. Zeis and mother of the late Dianne Howe O’Neill, who was tragically taken in her infancy by childhood Leukemia.
Raised in Morristown NJ with her three siblings, she attended Morristown High School where she was a very popular student, Captain of the Cheerleading Squad, a member of the Honor Society, and assistant editor of the school newspaper. She graduated from Colby Sawyer Jr. College (New London, New Hampshire) in 1959. After college, she became a flight attendant for American Airlines, based in New York City.
Debbie married Donald F O’Neill in 1961 with whom she moved to Huntingdon Valley PA and raised 3 children. To stay active, she played golf and tennis at Huntingdon Valley Country Club, where she was a longtime member. A handy woman at heart, she could fix anything and once completely refinished and reorganized her garage while her husband was in Europe. Later in life she developed a passion for the creative framing of artwork, photographic scenes and portraiture. Generous at heart, she often gave of her time by volunteering at various organizations. Most importantly though she will be remembered as a devoted and loving mother and friend.
Deborah will be missed greatly by her children, Deirdre A O’Neill, Donald F O’Neill, Jr., and Alyson H O’Neill Donahue, her son-in-law Michael Donahue, her grandchildren Olivia H Donahue and Liam P Donahue, her brother Jared H Holden and his wife Margaret, and her stepsister Barbara Z Flynn. Debbie will also be remembered by Howard Bishow, her devoted special friend and companion at Ann’s Choice, a Senior Living Community in Warminster PA where she resided for the last 7 years.
Funeral services and interment will be held privately. A Celebration of Life Memorial will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project at PO Box 758516 in Topeka, KS 66675-8516 or to St. Jude Children’s Hospital at 501 St. Jude Place in Memphis, TN 38105.