Published: Tuesday, December 24th, 2013
Ralph S. O’Neill was born Nov. 18, 1907, in Folsom, S.D., the oldest of seven sons born to Fritz and Lola O’Neill. The family homesteaded on Spring Creek in 1879.
Ralph attended primary school at the Wilcox School on the Wilcox homestead. He graduated from Rapid City (S.D.) High School in 1927, and received his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in 1936. In 1937, he married Charlotte Roebuck in Mitchell, S.D.
He began working for the bridge division of the South Dakota Highway Department in Pierre, S.D., where he worked for 38 years, 1936-74. He then went to work for Aaron Swan & Associates Engineering in Pierre from 1975-96. He and Charlotte retired to Custer, S.D., in 1980.
Ralph was a member of the American Society of Professional Engineers. While living in Pierre, Ralph was active in the First Baptist Church. He attended Custer Community Church and was a member of the Rapid City Elks Lodge No. 1187, the Custer Masonic Lodge No. 66 and the Rapid City Naja Shriners.
Ralph died peacefully at his home in Custer Dec. 18, 2013. He was 106.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Charlotte, at the age of 79; and his six brothers, Marion, Walter, Owen, Wayne, Francis and Loren.
He is survived by his four children, Kenneth O’Neill of Texas, Eileen Cofell of Custer, Randall O’Neill of Rapid City, and Charlene McCoy of Lead, S.D.; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established to the Folsom Fire Department and Community Center: PO Box 667, Custer, SD 57730.
Written condolences may be made at www.mccolleyschapels.com.
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