Alicia A. (Dooley) O’Neill
June 2, 1932 – August 19, 2020
Alicia Ann (Dooley) O’Neill was born in Creston, Iowa on June 2, 1932 to Alice Elizabeth (Harty) Dooley and James Patrick Dooley. She grew up with her older brother Jim, whom she loved and looked up to. Alicia learned to swim and dive before the age of 5 in the lake in Creston, Iowa.
Alicia loved high school and made many lifelong friends, singing and acting in the choir and the drama club. She was able to attend her 50th year reunion. She left home in 1950 for Omaha, Nebraska. She attended St. Catherine’s / Creighton School of Nursing. She graduated in 1953. She started at St. Catherine’s Bergan Mercy in the Newborn Nursery, and finally worked in long term care, retiring from Papillion Manor in 1994.
She met Hugh “Jack” O’Neill in 1953 on a blind date prior to graduating from nursing school. They were married in Creston, Iowa on May 1, 1954 at St. Malachy Catholic Church. Alicia and Jack had 7 children, 5 boys and 2 girls. Alicia stayed home with the kids until she went back to work when she and Jack moved to Plattsmouth. Alicia became the Neighborhood Nurse no matter where Jack’s job took them. Alicia always remained calm regardless of the crisis before her.
Alicia was devout in her Catholic Faith. She was always saying “Let go and Let God” and reminded us that whenever we were struggling. She prayed the Rosary daily, and if needed would pray it twice. She prayed daily for her entire family and her friends. She and Jack welcomed their children’s spouses with open arms and treated them as if they were their own children. She always remembered everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries and made sure that she sent your card so that it would reach you on your special day. If it were your birthday, you would receive a special phone call from Alicia, and she would sing Happy Birthday to you over the phone. To those of us on the other end of that phone, there was no better gift.
Alicia will always be remembered for her sense of humor, card playing skill’s, and willingness to take your money. She was an excellent cook, and her children / grandchildren’s favorites were her chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, orange cookies, apricot rolls, cinnamon rolls and all the special treats she baked at Christmas time. Her pork roast with dumplings and sour kraut, cabbage rolls and homemade bread were favorites among her children and grandchildren.
She willingly retired to take care of Jack the love of her life. After Jack’s death, she traveled the United states, including Hawaii and Alaska. She was able to say that she made it to all the states except two. She traveled to Ireland with her daughter Kathy in 2005 and had the trip of her life. She met many folks on her travels, and they enjoyed her sense of fun and humor. Alicia’s friends from St. Catherine’s class of 1953 have been lifelong friends.
Alicia adapted to declining health with grace and humor. She always did as much as she could for herself for as longs as she could. She was wise and practical about the adaptations she needed to make. On the days that she felt well, she would be knitting washcloths for family, playing solitaire on her iPad, playing cards, visiting with friends and family, mailing cards, and watching old movies. Alicia prayed the rosary daily regardless of how she was feeling. She would have singalongs with her children / grandchildren when they would come to visit. Her family was blessed to have her for 88 years and were able to be with her for her final journey, until her Guardian Angel came and took her by the hand to lead her home.
Preceded in death by husband, Hugh J.; son, Michael F.; brother, James P. Dooley; and granddaughter, Anna Elizabeth O’Neill. Survived by children: Kathleen Root (Randy), Patrick (Farida), Colleen Rogers (Richard), Daniel (Julie), Kevin (Sue) and Eugene (Shari); 19 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
VISITATION following CDC guidelines: Friday, August 21st from 3pm to 6pm, at the West Center Chapel followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 6pm. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Saturday, August 22nd, 10am, St. Peter’s Catholic Church (1 Bluff St., Council Bluffs) GRAVESIDE SERVICE: 1:30pm, Calvary Cemetery. Memorials will be directed by the family.