Surrounded by family, Betty O’Neal (Sexton) age 86, died September 9, 2020 at her home in Fort Payne, Alabama.
Betty was born to Ernest Lee Johnson and Wilhelmina Thompson Johnson, in Plainfield Indiana December 10, 1933.
Being a child during the Great Depression, she learned the art of repurposing and making useful handmade items, just as her mother did. She was a non-degree engineer with creative ideas sharing those with her children, and beloved grandchildren, and instilling a respectful work ethic. She was a resourceful chef feeding her large family, and even neighborhood children at times.
She recalled being a passenger riding in the rumble seat of a Ford Model T from Indiana with her dad to arrive in Alabama for their quest of a new life and job opportunity. She went on to supervision in the garment industry, and left jobs to be a caregiver for loved ones numerous times. She so enjoyed and found comfort in her musical visits from Matt and Amanda Whitfield and family, and the pre-COVID Friday night gatherings of food and fun with her children.
Betty is survived by her children Terry (Sherry) O’Neal, Steve (Lojuanna) O’Neal, Quintin (Dojuana) O’Neal, Alan (Janet) O’Neal, and Sharron O’Neal-Bishop, all of Fort Payne Al, Linda O’Neal, Auburn Al, Teresa (Tony) Norris of Henagar Al, and had a multitude of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews that she loved deeply, and a dear friend in Belinda Robertson.
She was preceded in death by her husband Ernest Eugene O’Neal in 1994 of Valley Head, Al, mother Wilhelmina Johnson, father Ernest Johnson, brother Paul N Johnson, sister Marion R. Williamson, daughter-in-law Anita W O’Neal, grandchildren, Kirby C O’Neal, Jennifer (O’Neal) Winters, Jared M O’Neal, son-in-law Johnny Bishop, nephews Randy Milican, Darin Johnson, and the second love of her life Les Sexton.
Visitation will be at Wilson Funeral Home, Fort Payne Al, 5-7 p.m. Thursday Sept. 10. And a graveside service will take place at Glenwood Cemetery in Fort Payne, Al September 11, 2020 at 11:00 am with Roger Haney officiating.
Pallbearers include her grandsons, Eric O’Neal, Ryan O’Neal, Greg O’Neal, Brett Walker, Joseph O’Neal, and Cole O’Neal, with honorary pallbearers Christopher O’Neal, Peyton O’Neal, Matthew O’Neal, Alex O’Neal, Spencer Winters, Duncan McGriff and Boston McRay.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Heartlite Hospice, Scottsboro, Al. We are grateful for the level of care provided by Heartlite, and the added care of granddaughters Amanda Whitfield and Kayla Hamilton.
She was very much loved and missed, and look forward to seeing her again.