Dr. William “Bill” O’Neill, a longtime university professor and the husband of former Long Beach Mayor Beverly O’Neill, died on Oct. 24. He was 81.
Honored as a “Golden Graduate” of California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), William O’Neill was involved in organizing the first fraternity, known as Sigma Epsilon Chi, on campus in 1951, the year he received a bachelor’s degree in social sciences. A year later, he received his master’s in social sciences. After college, he entered the US Naval Reserve as a hospital corpsman. He then returned to teach for the Long Beach Unified School District and for CSULB. While pursuing his doctorate, he obtained his teaching credentials at UCLA, University of Vienna and USC.
In 1961, he began his career at the School of Education for USC, where he worked for 32 years, first starting as an assistant professor for the Department of Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education. He held various positions, including director of Ghana Institute (Center for International Education), chairman for the Department of Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education, director of the Educational Policy Studies Program at the Washington Education Center in Washington, D.C. and retiring as a professor for the Department of Policy, Planning and Administration.
“On behalf of the entire City of Long Beach family, we send our deepest condolences to Mayor O’Neill and her family,” said Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster. “We join them in mourning Dr. O’Neill.”
A public viewing and funeral service will be held at 2pm on Nov. 2 at First Congregational Church, 241 Cedar Ave. in Long Beach. A private burial will follow. For more information about the service, call McKenzie Mortuary Services at (562) 961-9301.