Join us for a celebration of life in memory of Dan O’Neal on Saturday, December 2nd, at 11:00am at the Salmon Center. Dan was a longtime resident of the North Mason community, and dedicated himself to the recovery of Hood Canal through his involvement with the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group and Puget Sound Partnership as a board member, volunteer, and advocate.
Dan was born May 15, 1936 in Bremerton. There on Rocky Point he began his lifelong love of the water and the mountains. After graduating from Bremerton High School he attended Whitman College and earned a degree in Mathematics. In 1959 he went to Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport and reported to the USS Watts, a World War II destroyer. He met the love of his life, Diane, on New Year’s Eve December 31, 1960. They married August 5th, 1961 in Seattle and had four children.
After serving in the Pacific and Viet Nam he studied law at the University of Washington. Upon graduation he served as transportation counsel to the United States Senate Commerce Committee chaired by Senator Warren Magnuson. He moved his young family to Washington D.C. and in 1973, President Richard M. Nixon appointed Dan a Commissioner of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) and he was appointed Chairman under President Carter, where he served until 1980. The O’Neals returned home to Seattle where Dan served as a law partner at Garvey, Schubert and Barer. After leaving the law firm, Dan served The Greenbirer Companies for 30 years in various positions and was a member of the Greenbrier Board of Directors until 2016. He continued to be civically involved throughout his life, serving in key roles with the Railway Supply Institute, Washington State Freight Mobility Board, Washington State Transportation Commission, Puget Sound Partnership, Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group, and many other non-profit organizations.
Dan is survived by Diane his wife of 56 years, Diane and his four children Danny (Julie), Reed (Ann), David (Jane), Beth (Andi) and his eight grandchildren Jack, Reed, Frances, Rita, Rocky, Marley, Phoebe and Logan. Family was everything to ‘Pops’ and he was the center of our large and loving clan. He loved being with his family above all else at Hood Canal swimming, boating, crabbing, eating, talking politics, singing and laughing.
He was known for his humor and intelligence and for generally being a force of nature. He taught us that discipline equals freedom, to never ever give up, to not take things personally and not to judge others. When he was in the room, it felt like everything was going to be alright.
A life celebration will take place Saturday, November 4th at 2:00 p.m. at the Seattle Tennis Club. In lieu of flowers those who wish to honor Dan’s memory may make a donation to The Salmon Center. A donation can be made to the Founders Fund by clicking here or by calling (360) 275-3575 extension 10.