mary lou oneill obit

Montoursville -- Mary Lou (Eck) O'Neill of Montoursville passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on July 20, 2021, at the age of 67 years following a long battle with brain cancer.

She was born on April 25, 1954 in Jersey Shore to James and Irene (Steinbacher) Eck, the fourth of 11 living children.

Mary Lou grew up in a dedicated Catholic family. During her years of living on the family farm, she grew in knowledge and love of the Lord while learning the values of hard work, perseverance, obedience and faithfulness. She graduated from Jersey Shore High school with high academic achievement. She went on to attend the Williamsport Hospital School of Nursing, graduating in 1975 with recognition for scholastic and nursing achievements. During her early years of nursing, she met her husband Joseph K. (Joe) O'Neill Sr., with whom she recently celebrated 43 years of marriage. Mary Lou continued working in the field of nursing, and later as a teacher's aide at St. Boniface and Montoursville schools while raising her three children. After her children were grown, her love for books led her to a part-time job at the Konkle Library in Montoursville.

Mary Lou was an active member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church where she participated in the Pro-Life group and crocheted blankets for newly baptized children. She loved living a simple life at home where she enjoyed gardening and canning, birdwatching, doing crossword puzzles, making puzzles, reading, watching EWTN and beginning each day with prayer, scripture and a cup of coffee. She also enjoyed yard saling, keeping her secret five, being frugal and finding the best deal. Most of all, Mary Lou was a loving mother and grandmother, radiating the love of Jesus Christ, while spending time with her children and grandchildren. You could often find her taking care of her grandchildren in her home, schooling her grandchildren and enthusiastically attending family sporting events.

Surviving are her husband, Joe; three children, Heather (Romey) Fagnano of Montoursville, Joseph Jr. (Sally) O'Neill of Loyalsock, Tara (Aaron) Zimmerman of Pleasant Gap; and nine grandchildren, Nolan, Owen, Mariana, Matthias and Benjamin Fagnano; Levi, Tori, and Kylie O'Neill; Louisa Zimmerman. She is survived by 10 siblings, Patty (Ronny) Pfirman, Diana (Mike) Persun, Evelyn (Harry) Rall, Denise (Dan) Boring, Doris (Larry) Bush, Roxane (Rick) Keller, Larry (Beth) Eck, Cheryl (Eric) Palski, Tammy (Mike) Packer, and Kimberly (Scott) Corson; 58 nieces and nephews; 132 great nieces and nephews; and a handful or more of great-great nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her husband's brother Ronnie (Joanne) O'Neill and nephew Jonathan.

Mary Lou was preceded in death by her parents, James and Irene Eck; a brother, James Stephen Eck; nephews Dale Pfirrnan and Joshua Rall; her husband's parents Joseph S. and Charlotte J. O'Neill; and two preborn grandchildren.

The family will receive family and friends at Crouse Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 133 East Third St., Williamsport on Friday, July 23, 2021 from 6 to 8 p.m.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 24, 2021, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church with Father Michael McCormick officiating, 800 Mulberry St., Montoursville, followed by burial at Resurrection Cemetery, 4323 Lycoming Mall Drive, Montoursville.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully suggests memorial contributions be made to the Susquehanna Valley Chapter of Pennsylvanians for Human Life, P.O. Box 144, Williamsport, PA 17703 and/or Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church; please include in the memo: Mary Lou O'Neill.

To sign a register book or share any memories, please visit

Support our journalism

Our content is free, but our journalists work hard. 100% of your contribution to goes directly toward helping us cover the important news and events in our region. Thank you for saying that local news matters!