Willa Joyce O'Neill
April 15, 1934 - December 24, 2007
Willa Joyce O'Neill passed away Dec. 24, 2007, in her home following an extended illness. She was 73.
O'Neill was born April 15, 1934, in Sharpsville, Pa., a daughter of the late Harry K. "Hap" and Edith Kerry Edwards. A graduate of Sharpsville High School, Willa received her B.S. in education from Youngstown State University and her masters of fine arts in theater from the University of Colorado.
She began her teaching career in 1965 at Brookfield High School, where she taught English and theater for four years. She moved to Michigan in 1969 and was an English, drama and theater instructor at the Central School of Fine Arts, in Flint, Mich., for 26 years.
Willa retired in 1995 after 30 years of teaching and returned to her hometown of Sharpsville the same year. She was of the Catholic faith. In addition to teaching, Willa's passion was the theater. She enjoyed participating in and watching theatrical productions and loved Shakespeare.
Willa was also a talented musician and played the piano and guitar. She assisted the students at Sharpsville High School during play rehearsals and continued her love of the theatre during retirement. Willa was a member of the Sharpsville Historical Society and a social member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post # 6404, Sharpsville.
She was an avid reader and fond of animals, particularly her cats, Kate and Bottom. She is survived by three daughters, Margaret "Peggy" Barnes and her husband Larry of Oak Creek; Candace "Candie" Blake and her partner, Rick Neely, of Greenville; and Juliane "Julie" Arena, of Sharon, Pa.; four grandchildren, Jennifer, Carrie, Brittney and Hallie; 3 great grandchildren, Elizabeth, Gage and Natalia; one brother, Harry K. Edwards and his wife Cathie, Grand Blanc, Mich.; and her former husband, Daniel J. O'Neill and his wife Ceya, of Clark, Pa.
Willa was preceded in death by her parents, Harry K. "Hap" and Edith Kerry Edwards, and her husband, Donn Bartel Jensen.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Club Pet, 20 Schaller Road, Transfer, Pa. Calling hours were held Dec. 29, 2007, in the J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 1090 E. State St., Sharon, Pa. Friends may email condolences to McGonigleFuneralHome@verizon.net. A memorial service was at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 29, 2007, in the funeral home with Msgr. Andrew Karg, pastor of St. Michael's Church, Greenville, officiating.