Cornelia 'Connie" O'Neil

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Cornelia "Connie" O'Neil
July 10, 1918 - March 25, 2012

Cornelia "Connie" St. Romain O'Neil, 93, died on March 25, 2012, at Eagle Springs Memory Care Facility. She was born Cornelia Hortense St. Romain to Norma Plauche and Samuel Joseph St. Romain in New Orleans on July 10, 1918.

Educated in New Orleans public schools, she completed an undergraduate degree in chemistry at Louisiana State University and then graduated from LSU medical school in 1941 with a specialization in anesthesiology. While at LSU, she met her husband, Dr. Lawrence J. O'Neil. She was a resident at New Orleans's famed Charity Hospital during World War II. For most of her career, she was in private practice with her husband; she an anesthesiologist and he was a surgeon in New Orleans. They raised four daughters. After her husband's death and her retirement, she moved in 1983 to Walla Walla, where she worked as a volunteer at Assumption Elementary School, R.S.V.P. and the Walla Walla Democratic Party. She also served as a mentor to young women interested in careers in medicine.

She is survived by three daughters, Mary Anne O'Neil (Patrick Henry) of Walla Walla, Peggy O'Neil (Jim Valley) of Emeryville, Calif., Mary Lawrence O'Neil of New Orleans; eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. She was preceded in death by her husband; her brother, Dr. Samuel J. St. Romain of Metairie, La; and her daughter, Bernadette Giuffre of Houston.

A memorial Mass at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 18, 2012, at St. Francis Catholic Church of Walla Walla will honor her life. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.

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