Stephen Michael O'Neill

February 19, 1957 - August 31, 2018


Stephen Michael O’Neill
February 19, 1957 – August 31, 2018
The recent passing of our loving, brilliant and inspirational Stephen may certainly have generated sorrow and tears, but everyone whose lives were touched by this accomplished man must also know in their hearts that such sadness will surely be replaced by joy-filled memories of a remarkable individual. How could it be otherwise?
Whatever he set his dazzling mind to – from leading a construction project to writing a computer program—he mastered. More importantly, whenever he gave his heart to something – from building his beautiful family of four children with his wife Susan to volunteering for a leadership position with an amateur-sport group – he held nothing back.
Born in Brandon, Manitoba, Steve was the fifth of what would be the seven sons of John Joseph and Mary Patricia (nee Davis) O’Neill. He graduated with honours from Vancouver College in 1975 and from the University of B.C., earning a degree in civil engineering, in 1981 – the same year he married Susan (after dating only six months!).
Daughter Jaclyn was born in 1983, followed by sons Shane (1985), Colin (1987) and Blair (1989). The 21st Century saw the birth of the apple of Steve’s eye, grandson Julian (son of Jaclyn and husband Chris), who was born in 2017. Steve was also elated to welcome Kate to the family at Shane's wedding in April.

It can be fairly said that Steve was passionate about real estate development and construction. He relished brainstorming various development concepts and construction methods, backed by his great engineering mind. He most recently applied these talents with Coromandel Properties as their VP, Construction, where he also enjoyed a role as mentor.
His legacy can also be found in the many organizations to which he gave freely of his time, talent and mentorship. He was chair of the Parish Council at St. Pius X Parish in North Vancouver, where he oversaw the construction of the parish elementary school. He was a co-founder and board member of the Vancouver Spirit Run, and also a long-time board member and president of the NorWesters Track and Field Club. And then there were the many volunteer jobs supporting his children’s sporting activities – baseball coach, hockey manager, and track-meet official.
It must also be said that the grace, courage, and resiliency with which he met his July, 2017 diagnosis of Stage 4 pancreatic cancer will forever be a vital part of Stephen’s outstanding legacy. The burden was lessened by the outpouring of love and support from his extended family, friends and colleagues.
It was thanks to the expert care of the BC Cancer Agency that Stephen was able to live well past what the family had initially expected and for that they are very grateful to the care provided by Dr. Sharlene Gill at BCCA, Dr. Simon Yu at Burnaby General, and the team of chemotherapy nurses who treated him. The family is also most appreciative of the extraordinary and compassionate care provided by Dr. David Williscroft and the team of nurses at St. Paul’s Palliative Care.
Stephen will be sorely missed by a great many friends and relatives, especially by Sue and his children, of course, and also his father Jack, and brothers Robert, Terence, Kevin, Lawrence, Douglas and John and their families; he was predeceased in 2012 by his mother, Pat.
A funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, September 11th at 11:30 am at St. Pius X Parish, 1150 Mt Seymour Rd, North Vancouver with a reception to follow at Capilano Golf & Country Club at 1 p.m. Memorial donations may be made to the St. Paul's Foundation in gratitude for the excellent care he received.

Chris Macken

Sep 6, 2018 11:29pm

I first came to know Steve in Grade 8 at Vancouver College, we spent 5 years at VC graduating in 1975. Even then Steve was an organizer, as he arranged for a group of us Grade 9 boys to visit LFA and play fun floor hockey and volleyball games with some of the grade 9 girls there. It was a sign of things to come at VC for Steve as he was always looked upon as a leader (at least he was in my eyes). I once had the pleasure of spending a wonderful afternoon with Steve on his family speed boat cruising Howe Sound with our fellow VC graduates Steve Bourke and George Csoti - it remains a vivid memory even to this day. Steve was also instrumental in helping me get my first job out of high school with National Caterers (working the BC Rail train out of North Van. I had not realized until just now how much interaction I had with Steve during those years, but I am grateful for every moment we had together. More recently I had the opportunity to meet up with Steve at our Vancouver College 20th, 30th and 40th high school reunions and to reminisce about our experiences together and catch up on what we were doing now. I regret that I am unable to attend Steve's funeral and Celebration of Life and meet his wonderful family, however I want you all to know that I have been lifting up Steve (and family) in my Rosary's since I learned of his condition earlier this year and I will continue to do so going forward.
May God our Heavenly Father comfort you and shower you with His graces.

Chris Macken (Calgary)

Bruce Grist

Sep 7, 2018 12:52am

I am very sorry for your loss.

Tom Elrick

Sep 7, 2018 1:59am

If the surest way to improve oneself is to seek the company of better men, then I must count myself singularly fortunate in having met Steve. He will of course be remembered as a loving husband, fond parent and brilliant grandfather, but I remember him too as a man of boundless good cheer and infinite generosity.

Unique in our day, he was a man who seemed happier celebrating the often-meagre achievements of others rather than even hinting at his own more impressive accomplishments. I’ll miss the impish grin as he floated past me on the Grouse Grind, the effortless charm, and his unfailing humour and kindness. If ever man fulfilled the ideal of what it means to be a gentleman, it was Steve ...

And he's still showing me his heels.

Derek Lee

Sep 7, 2018 6:43am

A compassionate and thoughtful friend whom I met 22 years ago when he introduced himself to me and my Father as a representative of St. Pius X Parish looking to build support for a new Catholic Elementary School in the Seymour area. His passion was evident and his motives virtuous, believing in the values taught in the Catholic system as I did. Only later I discovered he knew much earlier that by the time it could be a reality his children would be too old to attend, yet his enthusiasm and his commitment never wavered. A testimony to his huge heart and selflessness. Because of Steve and others like him who followed his lead, my children were the benefactors of a sound education academically and spiritually. Thank you my friend. Be at peace as you deserve to be.

The Moscone Family

Sep 8, 2018 12:03pm

Steven's tragic passing will not only be a huge loss to his cherished family, but to the entire community as well. As we are away, we will unfortunately be unable to attend Steven's funeral service. Our warmest condolences to the entire O'Neill family. Know that our thoughts are with you all, as our prayers are for the peaceful repose of Steven!

Mike Racich

Sep 10, 2018 11:18am

My good friend Steve’s passing has left a void in the hearts of his family and friends but has left a special place in all our minds for what living a life with dignity and grace is all about. Steve was a smart, generous, lighthearted man that we have all been fortunate to have known and for whom will all sadly miss.

Ankie Groenewoud/Fam

Sep 11, 2018 5:40pm

We could always count on Steve throughout our meets from beginning to end no matter how chaotic the meet entries were befire during and results after.
Steve would stay calm focused and make it work with his Amazing computer skills!
We’ll miss his beautiful smile and enthusiasm especially during the upcoming Vancouver Spirit Run Sept 23rd.
I’m sure that Steve and Frank will be with us somehow that day!
Our warmest condolences to the whole Family!

Johann Winternitz

Sep 15, 2018 8:28pm

Steve and I started Engineering together. We were in the same drafting class. We used rulers and pencil erasers. Steve completed a 5 year degree 4 years before i could. Let us say Steve was bright and make no other obvious conclusions. In reunions we would discuss who was more of a geek in high school, we each wanted to be the geekyer one. He beat me there too. Remember that now it is very cool to be a geek. In keeping with current politics i could say Geeks lives matter. God Bless you Steve and specially your family. PS I am reading from Chris Macken below and twas Grade 8 also when we met. On the ground floor facing 38th Street.

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