Nolan Nolan O'Neal Ret. O'Neal obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Nolan Nolan O'Neal Ret. O'Neal

July 3, 1929 - October 12, 2016

Obituary


Maj (Ret) Nolan O'Neal, 87, of Bryan, Texas passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at Grand Brook Memory Care in McKinney, Texas.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 PM Saturday, October 15, 2016 at the A&M Church of Christ (in the Chapel) in College Station with Dan Warden officiating. Interment will immediately follow at the College Station Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 - 6:30 p.m. Friday at Memorial Funeral Chapel in College Station.

Nolan was born July 3, 1929 in Kosse, Texas, to Luther & Nora Mae (Crabb)...

Maj (Ret) Nolan O'Neal, 87, of Bryan, Texas passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at Grand Brook Memory Care in McKinney, Texas.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 PM Saturday, October 15, 2016 at the A&M Church of Christ (in the Chapel) in College Station with Dan Warden officiating. Interment will immediately follow at the College Station Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 - 6:30 p.m. Friday at Memorial Funeral Chapel in College Station.

Nolan was born July 3, 1929 in Kosse, Texas, to Luther & Nora Mae (Crabb) O'Neal; he graduated from Calallen High School at age 17, and immediately enlisted in the US Army. He completed Basic Training, was sent to Japan where he completed Airborne School, and was eventually stationed in Heidelberg, Germany where he met the love of his life, Elizabeth, a young German schoolteacher. They were married on June 17, 1951.

Besides being Airborne and Glider qualified, he completed Army Ranger training and later became a Ranger instructor. After 20 years of enlisted service, he was commissioned an officer and promoted to Captain, and then Major, serving eight more years in numerous locations including multiple tours in Viet Nam, commanding an Army air base that hosted Special Forces near Cambodia. After retiring from active duty he worked for the U.S. Government in the Middle East and West Africa. Nolan's heroic service was recognized in part with the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and numerous Air Medals with Valor.

Nolan was determined to be the first in his family to earn a college degree - but could not consolidate the many courses he had completed through the years into a single degree plan until his military retirement. He and daughter Rebecca graduated from A&M together in 1975, followed by Ron in 1977, and Nolan A. in 1982. Nolan provided financial services for local businesses while also volunteering as a Boy Scout leader, and in community service; he regularly provided free income tax services for low income families during tax season.

Nolan was a devoted Christian and lifelong member of the Church of Christ, serving in many congregations as his military service moved his family. He enjoyed teaching Bible classes, supporting various ministries (especially Missions) and served as both a deacon and elder. He and Elizabeth were most recently members of the A&M Church of Christ in College Station.

Of particularly noteworthy service, Nolan served as Commander of the American Legion Earl Graham Post 159 in Bryan, TX, where he was intensely devoted to ensuring that any eligible veteran could receive Military Honors at their funeral. When the Army was unable to meet all requests for an Honor Guard, Nolan led the American Legion Honor Guard, eventually serving at approximately 105 veteran's funerals before his own health began to fail.

Nolan is preceded in death by parents, Luther and Nora Mae (Crabb) O'Neal; wife, Elizabeth O'Neal; sisters, Joyce Smith, Beatrice Despain, and Evon Moor; and a brother, L.B. O'Neal.

He is survived by daughter, Rebecca O'Neal of Cumming, GA; son, Ron O'Neal and wife Diane of McKinney, TX; son, Nolan A. O'Neal and wife Denise of Bellaire, TX; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.