Jerry died peacefully on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at the age of 80. He died as he lived, in his own way and on his own terms. He often said that he had a wonderful and full life, and had chosen to live without any medical intervention since his stroke in 2016.
He leaves behind his wife of 33 years, Becky Fierberg, his children Patrick O’Neal, Suzanne O’Neal, Emily Hitchcock and Kelly Guetersloh. He had an instant connection with children and leaves behind 6 grandchildren.
Jerry loved to cook; he loved to eat and he loved a great restaurant. He was thrilled to cross off his bucket list, a trip to the French Laundry where his enthusiasm earned him a trip to the kitchen to watch Chef Thomas Keller at work. He could be found every Saturday, book in hand, eating breakfast and reading the day away at Kopperman’s in the Central West End. It was a very sad day when Kopperman’s closed their doors. Jerry loved to go to the grocery store and would go to 4 stores every Sunday to find just the right items. Whenever he cooked, there was always enough food for twice the number of guests. He was lovingly labeled, “Overkill O’Neal.” He made the best and biggest chocolate chip cookies!
Jerry enjoyed everything St. Louis had to offer and often went to the Art Museum where he loved to sit out on Art Hill. He walked the Loop in Forest Park and he frequented the Botanical Gardens. Toward the end of his life when walking became more difficult, he was always ready to take a drive out to Lone Elk Park.
He asked that there be no memorial.
If you wish to make a donation in Jerry’s honor, please consider The St. Louis Art Museum or sending a check to
The St. Louis County Parks Foundation
In memory of Jerry O’Neal
P.O. Box 31158
Des Peres, MO 63131