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Rose Lawn Cemetery

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Visitation At The Church

Marion Baptist Church
Saturday January 4th, 2020
10:00am - 11:00am

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Funeral Service

Marion Baptist Church
Saturday January 4th, 2020

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Alvis Vernon "A.V." O'Neal

Durham, N.C. / Marion, Va.

Alvis Vernon O’Neal (A.V.), age 98, of Durham, NC and later of Marion, Virginia died on December 13, 2019 of natural causes while in residence at Brookdale Assisted Living in Monroe NC.

He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, his first wife, Ruby Parker O’Neal, and both of their children, Stephen V. O’Neal and Kathy O. Pressing.

He is survived by his son-in-law, Andrew Pressing of Wytheville, his second wife, Barbara C. O’Neal & her family, John & Anita Bishop of Waxhaw NC, grandson & wife, Andrew & Jessica Bishop of Carthage NC; Julie Bishop and grandchildren Dory Paxton and great-granddaughter, True Paxton of Southport NC; Niles Paxton of Asheville NC, and nieces and nephews in Durham NC.

AV volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Corp in January 1941 and served 4 years and 8 months. He was trained as an aerial gunner and was certified by the Air Force Technical School as a photographer. He attained the rank of Technical Sergeant during WWII in the 415th Bomb Squad and 98th Bomb Group. He served in Campaigns in Italy, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Sicily. He received the American Defense Service Medal, EAMET Campaign with (8) bronze service stars and a Distinguished unit badge. He developed the film from Operation Tidal Wave of the bombing of the Ploiesti oil fields in Romania that are included in Time Life Books on WWII.

He was a member of the Marion Baptist Church serving as a Deacon and in other areas of church life. He was a member of Holston Hills Golf Club for over 40 years & had a record (4) Holes-In-One. He was a licensed pilot and loved flying. He loved traveling and had visited all 50 of the United States of America. He was a lifetime member of the VFW Post 4667 & was the post photographer. He was a member of the Marion Lions Club. He was integral in the historical documentation of the Virginia interstate system by taking the aerial photographs of the interchanges & bridges during construction. He received a Key to the City for his years of distinguished service to the City of Marion.

He retired after 33 years from Greear Photography Studio in Marion VA and later from his own company as a professional photographer. If your school had a club or team picture, if your family had a reunion, if your church had an event, or your child graduated, got christened or got married in Smyth County, chances are A.V. O’Neal, with the help of his wife Barbara, captured the memory in photo’s.

It was best said by the Smyth County News & Messenger, “From learning to develop film in his Mother’s kitchen to Army desert tents, from the war zone to VFW ceremonies honoring those who fought, from the air to the studio: O’Neal has lived a life of recording moments and printing their visual records, taking pictures like he’s done it forever. Because he has.”

Visitation will be held at 10:00 on Saturday, January 4th at the Marion Baptist Church at 1258 N. Main St., Marion, VA.  Followed by service at 11:00 and interment at Rose Lawn Cemetery at 4410 Lee Hwy., Marion VA.

The family appreciates your show of support at this time in our loss of this wonderful man, who was a great husband, father, friend, Veteran, church & civic leader.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that memorials should be sent to VFW Post 4667, P.O. Box 767, Marion VA 24354 with notifications sent to the family:  John Bishop PO Box 250, Mineral Springs, NC  28108.

To share memories of A.V. O’Neal, please visit www.seaverbrown.com. Care for A.V.’s family has been entrusted to Seaver-Brown Funeral Service and Crematory, 237 East Main Street, Marion VA 24354.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Alvis "A.V." O'Neal, please visit our flower store.


Dear Family, though A.V. died in December, I just this week learned of his death when John graciously replied to the recent Brevard (NC) High School Class reunion letter addressed to our classmate/A.V.'s wife, Barbara. I have since read the fitting obituaries of both A.V. and Barbara. I am sure the families miss them -- good memories now heart treasures. With my sincere sympathy and many special thoughts, remembering a treasured friend from our school days and her husband. I was glad to have met A.V. and enjoy visiting time with him at class reunions -- where quite naturally he took pictures of/for us. "The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;....to all that call upon him in truth....His mercy endureth for ever." Ps 34:18;145:18; 1Ch 16:34,41 kjv Jean Pickelsimer Young Pisgah Forest, NC

Jean Young Apr 5 2020 12:00 AM

To The Family of A.V. Thoughtful prayers to you in your loss. Imogene and I knew A.V at Greears Studio years ago.. He did our wedding photos on Nov. 22, 1986 I, again, met him on on Nov. 11, 2015 at a our Veterans Day Program in Rural Retreat. Heaven has received another Godly Angel.. Don & Imogene Orfield

Don & Imogene Orfield Dec 22 2019 12:00 AM

So sorry for your loss. Always remember him taking school pictures at atkins elementary. Long, long time ago.

chellie Davidson Dec 22 2019 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Alvis "A.V." O'Neal

chellie Davidson Dec 22 2019 12:00 AM

AV was the best father-in-law!! I miss him

Andrew Pressing Dec 21 2019 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Alvis "A.V." O'Neal

Andrew Pressing Dec 21 2019 12:00 AM

To A.V.'s family-It was with regret I learned of A.V.'s death. It was our priviledge to have shared many incidents with him when we were living in Marion. Our prayers for your comfort and support during this time. Jim Wilson and family

Jim Wilson Dec 19 2019 12:00 AM

AV meant a great deal to me when I was living in Marion. Always kind, always humble, always willing to help. I treasure the memories that I have of AV. He was truly one of the finest individuals that I have ever had the good fortune to know. I am certain that he is Blessed for eternity. My condolences to his family.

Frank Wyant Dec 18 2019 12:00 AM

One of the finest men I have ever known in my life. He set an example for kindness, gentleness and extraordinary character. Never heard him say an ill word about anyone. My sincere condolences to his family and if there is ever a man than his life be honored it would be A.V. O'Neal. Robert Bedwell

Robert Bedwell Dec 18 2019 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Alvis "A.V." O'Neal

Robert Bedwell Dec 18 2019 12:00 AM

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