HUBBARD, Ohio (WKBN) – St. Patrick’s Church in Hubbard announced on Facebook that their former pastor, Father Timothy O’Neill, died Saturday.
O’Neill retired in 2015 after 22 years at St. Patrick’s.
He grew up on Youngstown’s west side and served at Cardinal Mooney for 17 years. O’Neill also spent time as the pastor at St. Michael’s in Canfield and St. Paul’s in New Middletown.
Friends of O’Neills reflected on his 81 years of life.
“He was… you talked to him and he was just a neighborhood guy. He was a knock-around guy. But yet when you spoke to him, you felt like you were closer to God,” Ray Mancini said.
“He was very passionate. He was just a caring person,” Tom Seifert said.
“He never forgot your name,” Nick Seifert said.
“Father tim was just a special, special guy,” Tom Pavlansky said.
Friends of Father Tim said he embodied love. They said he believed in a life of service and exemplified that through everything he did and served the people of Youngstown more than he knew.
Mancini said O’Neill was very important to him not just in his professional boxing career but also in his personal life.
The two went way back — all the way to Mancini’s sophomore religion class at Cardinal Mooney High School, where O’Neill was his teacher.
“The first five minutes of class he’d say, ‘Just be.’ Now we’re 14, 15-year-old kids. What do you mean be? What? He said ‘Just be. Be in the moment. Just be there,'” Mancini said.
He said O’Neill was far ahead of his time. To this day he looks for those five minutes a day to just be.
Many remember him for his ability to just connect with people.
“He was the epitome of just being a servant leader. The number of families and individuals that he’s touched is immeasurable,” Pavlansky said.
Those who knew O’Neill said he was Youngstown through and through and he loved the city and its people.
Calling hours will be Oct. 20 from 4 to 7 p.m. at St. Columba Cathedral, with vespers at 7 p.m.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. at St. Columba.
Per the family’s wishes, the Funeral Mass will not be live-streamed.