The Philadelphia area lost a great professional and stalwart advocate for senior care this week. William O’Neill, aged 88, passed away on Tuesday, July 29, due to complications associated with an earlier stroke.

Mr. O’Neill was a native of Dunmore, PA, and one of nine children of Representative Harry P. O’Neill, who served 20 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for Lackawanna County before later being elected to two terms in the U.S. Congress.

A graduate of Pennsylvania State University at the age of 20, O’Neill was immediately commissioned into the U.S. Navy as one of its youngest officers. After completing his military service, O’Neill enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania Law School, earning his J.D. in 1950. He specialized in tax law.

A decade of trial experience with the IRS under his belt, O’Neill returned to Pennsylvania in 1960 and joined the firm of Obermeyer Rebmann where he ultimately served as managing partner and chairman of the firm.

But O’Neill’s passion and greatest contribution to the southeastern Pennsylvania area was co-founding a first-of-its-kind continuing care facility at Waverly Heights. O’Neill’s extensive legal background and his recognition that wealthy seniors needed and desired a non-traditional elder care arrangement made Waverly Heights a reality. O’Neill served as both general counsel and chairman of Waverly Heights board of directors for several years.

William O’Neill is survived by his wife, Eugenia Crapelli O’Neill; sons William, Timothy, and Thomas; daughter Ellen; six grandchildren; and a sister.

O’Neil’s funeral mass was held on Saturday, August 2, at 11 a.m. at St. John Vianney Church, 350 Conshohocken State Road, Gladwyne, PA.

The family urges memorial donations to be made to the Juvenile Law Center at 1315 Walnut Street, No. 400, Philadelphia, PA 19107.