Barbara Cox O’Neal, age 82, of Brevard, NC and later of Marion, Virginia died on December 19, 2019 of natural causes while in residence at Brookdale Assisted Living in Monroe NC.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Rev. John Andrew and Letha Howard Cox and 4 of her siblings, John Jr., Milford, Charlie and Kay; her first husband, Boyce Albert Bishop, one of her children, Deborah Lynn Bishop; her second husband, A.V. O’Neal, and both of her step-children, Stephen V. O’Neal and Kathy O. Pressing.
She is survived by her sister, Gail Cox Edmonds and husband Douglas Edmonds of Brevard, NC; her children, John & Anita Bishop of Waxhaw NC, grandson & wife, Andrew & Jessica Bishop of Carthage NC; Julia Bishop and grandchildren Dory Paxton and great-granddaughter, True Paxton of Southport NC; Niles Paxton of Asheville NC; her step-son-in-law Andrew Pressing of Wytheville and a number of nieces and nephews throughout the country.
Her first husband was a Baptist preacher and she served alongside him in churches in North and South Carolina. At age 54, Barbara returned to college to finish her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1991 from Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, NC and obtained her teaching certification in elementary education.
She came to Virginia to be a curator for the Settlers Museum of Southwest Virginia in Atkins and served on their board for a number of years. Indeed, her picture is still on their website www.settlersmuseum.com. She participated in events there in period dress, showing area children how people lived on a 19th century homestead. She showed them a little taste of their heritage and life outdoors working on a farm doing things such as gardening, preserving food, making dipped candles from beeswax and even spinning yarn from the flax that she grew there. She also “taught” the children in the Lindamood 1894 one-room schoolhouse when they visited.
She was a member of the Marion Baptist Church serving as a Deacon and in other areas of church life. She was an administrator for the daycare there. She was a substitute teacher for the Smyth County public schools. She also helped photographer husband, A.V. O’Neal, on some of his many sessions for customers throughout the area.
Barbara and AV were married for 25 years and both said they depended on each other and completed each other’s lives. They loved traveling and were able to visit a number of states, even getting to go on an Alaskan cruise.
She was a superb seamstress and quilter, gifting those she loved with beautiful quilts and quilted art pieces. She was also a very talented artist with a concentration in watercolors for which she was recognized in North Carolina and Virginia for her excellent works.
The family believes that she died of a broken heart. A.V. died only 6 days earlier on December 13th. Because of this, a joint memorial service will be held honoring both of their lives.
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 their memorial 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 our Mother, who was a loving wife, steadfast friend, and a dedicated community and church 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 Barbara O’Neal, please visit www.seaverbrown.com. Care for Barbara's family has been entrusted to Seaver-Brown Funeral Service and Crematory, 237 East Main Street, Marion VA 24354.