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April 25, 2017

Ida Louise O’Neil (nee Slack) of Inverhuron, died Tuesday, April 25, 2017, in her 88th year. Born in Windsor, Sept. 1, 1929, she was the youngest of the four children of Henri and Myrtle Slack (nee Hendra). Ida was the combination of intelligence, wit, charm and kindness. As the baby of the family, she was a favourite of many. Her involvement in the young people's group at church led to the relationship that would define her life story. She met her groom and husband of 65 years, Gary Holden O’Neil, at the young age of 16, giving them a lifetime of 70 years together. Following high school, Ida worked in the insurance industry until she and Gary started their family. Later in life, she worked at the Ontario Research Centre, testing air quality samples which came with the title of Professional Smeller. In this role, she was featured on the front page of the "Globe and Mail" business section, an accomplishment of which she was proud. Gary and Ida married in 1951 but waited a good 10 years to have their children. That time was spent with dear friends at baseball games, basketball games, bonfires and bowling, building memories and relationships to last a lifetime. As a mum, she attended field trips, assisted on projects, encouraged the interests of her kids, and drove a 1969 Mustang like it should be driven. She was a key success factor in her husband’s career as his partner in entertaining. Her food was amazing, her jokes were funny and she welcomed many in her home and at her table. She worried about others but embraced her own life with her realism and matter-of-fact approach. At the age of 40, she faced a fear of water by taking swimming lessons. Travel was a big part of Ida’s life, whether it was the Caribbean or a weekend away with girlfriends. There were no secrets with Ides, it was clear where she stood. She believed in the Ten Commandments, practised the power of prayer regularly but was also one to throw a whammy curse on a golfer if she didn’t want him to win. She loved deep and was loyal to the core. She was a wonderful wife, amazing mum and grama but perhaps her greatest role was that of friend. Ida is predeceased by her husband, Gary O’Neil, and is survived by her son Keith O’Neil; her friend and favourite daughter-in-law, Coral Milne; her two grandsons, Spence and Reid; and the most recent addition, her granddaughter-in-law, Breanne. She leaves a daughter, Martha Jane O’Neil (Marnie); many beloved nieces and nephews, and a slew of dear friends, many more like family, and their children. Predeceased by her big brother, Edward Slack; and big sister, Bernice Fletcher. She is survived by her sister, Mary Rice. Gary and Ida spent 70 years as partners and companions and this past five months since Gary died is the longest they had ever been separated. They truly did complete each other. Cocktail hour will never be the same without Ides and we will honour her by facing life head-on with laughter. A memorial service to celebrate Ida’s life will be held at the Anglican Church of the Messiah, 421 Russell Street, Kincardine, Saturday, May 13, 2017, at 11:30 a.m., with Rev. Rob Hiscox officiating. Memorial donation to the Anglican Church of the Messiah would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.