Helen Spivey O’Neal (wife of Ellis E. O’Neal Jr., former librarian),
May 28, 2010
Helen Spivey O’Neal, 85, died peacefully May 28, 2010 after suffering a heart attack May 24, 2010.
She was born in Richmond, Va., the daughter of Mary Bowden Spivey and Paul Edward Spivey and for 42 years was the wife of Ellis E. O’Neal Jr., who died Dec. 19, 2003. Helen graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in 1945 with an A.B. degree in psychology. She taught kindergarten for a year in Richmond and then received her M.A. degree in guidance from Teachers’ College, Columbia University. Helen served as psychologist for the Consultation Service in Richmond. She was also editor of their monthly publication, Work and Training, which went to the guidance departments of all the high schools in Virginia. During this time, she also served for one year as president of the guidance section of the Virginia Department of Education. When the Consultation Services were closed in 1953, Helen went with the Richmond city schools as a school psychologist where she enjoyed working with mentally, emotionally, and physically handicapped students as well as with the average and exceptional groups.
In August 1961, she married Ellis E. O’Neal Jr., from Norfolk, and immediately moved to Newton Centre, Mass., where he was librarian at Andover Newton Theological School. Here, she worked part time as school psychologist in a special elementary school testing program. She also worked with, hosted, and was a cheering presence among students, faculty and faculty spouses on campus. Helen was active in First Baptist Church in Newton Centre and served in many capacities there during the 26 years they lived in Massachusetts. In December 1986, Ellis retired and they moved to Norfolk. Helen became an active member of first Presbyterian Church and later of Royster Memorial Presbyterian Church. She also was a volunteer at the information desk at the Chrysler Museum of Art, and helped edit, The Chatter, the in-house publication at Westminster Canterbury.
Helen is survived by a cousin, Page S. Butt and wife Diane of Pennsylvania; a cousin, Richard B. Smith and wife Alice of Georgia; a cousin, Lucille Reed and husband Jim of Indiana; a cousin, Martha Mayer and husband Glenn of Texas; a cousin, Douglas Bowden of Washington; and a cousin, Bruce Bowden and wife Claire of Washington and their families. She is also survived by a sister-in-law, Lelia Williams and her family.
A memorial service will be held at Westminster Canterbury, Virginia Beach, on Saturday, June 26, at 1:30 p.m. Future interment will be with her husband at Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ellis and Helen O’Neal Scholarship Fund, Andover Newton Theological School, 210 Herrick Road, Newton Centre, MA 02459. (from The Virginian Pilot)