Msgr. Philip O’Neil Dies Jan. 19 in Rockford
January 25, 2018
ROCKFORD—Msgr. Philip O’Neil, S.T.L., died Jan. 19  at St. Anne Center, 4405 Highcrest Road, here, where he was a resident.
Msgr. O’Neil was born Sept. 9, 1928, in Harvard to Daniel and Helen (Mecklenburg) O’Neil. He attended Harvard Community High School; Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa; and St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Md. 
He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Raymond D. Hillinger on May 27, 1954. He served as parochial vicar at St. Peter Parish, Rockford; St. Anne, Dixon; St. Flannen, Harmon; St. Mary, Sterling; and St. Mary, DeKalb. 
Msgr. O’Neil served as pastor of St. Mary Parish in Polo, and was chaplain at the Dixon State School from 1966-1969. 
From 1969 to 1983 he was pastor of St. Laurence Parish in Elgin and from 1983 to 2003 was pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Marengo while also serving as the dean of the McHenry Deanery.
During his priesthood, Msgr. O’Neil served several terms on the Clergy Personnel Board, the Clergy Senate and the Clergy Relief Society. 
In 1996 he was honored as a Prelate of Honor by Pope St. John Paul II, elevating him to the title of monsignor. 
He retired from active ministry in 2003.
Msgr. O’Neil is predeceased by his parents; brothers William (Dorothy), Thomas (Ethel Sue), Daniel and David; sisters Mary, Blanche (Harold) Cheesebro, Margaret; nephew Daniel O’Neil and niece Patricia O’Neil Rademacher. 
He is survived by nieces Helen (David) Rasmussen and Ann O’Neil Gamble, nephews Thomas (Mickey) O’Neil, Harold Joseph (Sharon) Cheesebro, Thomas (Leigh) Cheesebro and Paul (Sara) O’Neil; Peter Rademacher, several great-nieces and great-nephews; and his dear friend Dan Johnson.
Msgr. O’Neil’s funeral Mass was celebrated, Jan. 24, 2018, at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Parish in Harvard. He is interred at St. Joseph Cemetery, Harvard.