Merl Edwin O’Neal, fondly known as Pete, age 76, of Tina, Missouri, passed away on Friday, January 20, 2023, on his way to do his chores; which was one of his favorite things to do.
He was the son of Rube and Glaphy (McCracken) O’Neal, born on February 12, 1946, in rural Bogard, Missouri. Merl graduated from Bogard High School in 1964. He was a talented athlete and received a basketball scholarship to Missouri Valley College. Merl received his Specialist Degree from Central Missouri University, and became a well-respected educator, and superintendent. He was dedicated to serving his community and making Tina-Avalon one of the top rural schools in the state. Merl touched countless lives as he mentored students, teachers, and fellow administrators throughout his thirty years of teaching.
On May 14, 1965, Merl married Theresia (Teri) Osgood at the Methodist Church in Avalon, Missouri, and was blessed with four children, Chris, Ronda, Annette, and Jennifer.
Merl had a lifelong passion for the outdoors. He liked taking care of his cattle, farming, and raising catfish. Merl especially enjoyed family gatherings which included breakfasts and fish fries. His grandchildren kept him busy and were the light of his life. Merl enjoyed watching them at sporting events, their many endeavors, and seeing them grow into someone to whom he was extremely proud.
Merl is survived by his beloved wife Teri of the home; his children, Chris O’Neal and wife Cindy of Bogard, Missouri, Ronda Rucker and husband James of Tina, Missouri, Annette Carter-Staley and husband Bob of Lees Summit, Missouri, and Jennifer Glover and husband Matt of Peoria, Illinois; one sister, Mary Maasdam and husband Robert of Tina, Missouri; eleven grandchildren, Lee (Jennifer) Rucker, Lacey (Trevor) Shockley, Johnathen (Trinity) O’Neal, Jacob Carter, Zachary Glover, Makenzie Glover, Caden Carter, Madeline O’Neal, Alison O’Neal, Kaitlyn Glover, and Alex Glover; two great-grandchildren, Josie Rucker, and Ames Shockley; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Rube and Glaphy O’Neal; one brother, Gail O’Neal; and one sister, Deloris Hawkins.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., on Monday, January 23, 2023, at Bittiker Funeral Home, 1201 North 65 Highway, Carrollton, Missouri.
Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 p.m., on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, at Bittiker Funeral Home, with Reverend Bruce Trussell and Pastor Marty Sykes officiating.
Burial will be in Ebenezer Cemetery, Bogard, Missouri.
If you would like to make a memorial contribution, the family asks you to consider Ebenezer Cemetery Perpetual Care Fund. They may be left at or mailed to Bittiker Funeral Home, P.O. Box 223, Carrollton, Missouri, 64633.