Mr. Brian Steven O’Neill, Jr, a former Captain in the United States Army, fought his final battle at Georgetown University Memorial Hospital on August 3rd, 2019 at the age of 54. He never gave up the fight and went down swinging. A native of Waterbury, Connecticut, he was born on March 23, 1965 to Ruth O’Neill and the late Brian O’Neill, Sr.
Proud of his Irish-Catholic heritage, his hardscrabble childhood was tempered by the love and grace of his mother and his late Aunt Rita. An avid reader with a keen intellect, Brian worked hard at everything and graduated with honors in 1983 from Holy Cross High School in Waterbury.
Moving to the big city, he graduated from Boston University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in International Relations and History in 1987. Brian’s first love was his country, and he earned his commission as a Tactical Intelligence Officer in the United States Army. In 1990, he deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation Desert Storm during the Gulf War. For his bravery and selfless service in combat, he received the Bronze Star Medal, among other military honors.
After leaving the Army, he continued his lifelong learning with graduate school at the University of Maryland, where he earned a Masters degree in taxation and his Juris Doctorate as an attorney. He passed his bar exam on the first try, and joined the Internal Revenue Service as a lawyer and auditor, where he worked for more than two decades. A union man, he was a shop steward for many years and since 2013 served as Vice President of The National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 83.
His life changed for the better when he met the love of his life, who would become his wife, Kunthida (Tuki) O’Neill, née Grasair. Brian not only loved Tuki with all his heart and soul, but also loved and welcomed her Thai family. Tuki, Ruth, and his sister-in-law Tang never left his side during his recent battles with illness.
Brian leaves behind his beautiful wife Tuki and her family, his adoring mother Ruth, a brother Chris, a nephew Brendan, two nieces Lauren and Madison, two aunts Mary and Eileen, two uncles Tom and Bill, and many friends and family in America and Thailand.
His family thanks the medical team at Georgetown University Hospital and the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center for their dedication and commitment to Brian’s final fight.
Two services will be held for Brian; one in Maryland and one in Connecticut. The Maryland service will be held on Thursday, August 8th, 2019 from 4pm until 8pm, at Pumphrey’s Colonial Funeral Home, 300 W. Montgomery Avenue in Rockville, MD.
The Connecticut and final service will be held on Friday, August 16th, 2019 in Middletown, CT. There will be a Catholic Mass open to all faiths at 10:00am at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, 74 West Main Street in Waterbury. His graveside funeral service, with full military honors, will be held approximately 45 miles away at 1:00pm at the State Veterans Cemetery, 317 Bow Lane, Middletown. All funeral arrangements handled by Pumphrey’s Colonial Funeral home in Maryland and Doolittle Funeral Home in Connecticut.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Wounded Warrior Project, which will help many of Brian’s battle buddies win their fights for life. Donate here: https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org