Gene O’Neal

Gene O’Neal

DARLINGTON – John Henry Gene “Ace” O’Neal, 82, passed away Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. Funeral services were held Monday, Feb. 10, at Temple Free Will Baptist Church with burial at Grove Hill Cemetery. The family received friends Sunday at Belk Funeral Home, and other times at 587 Gilchrist Road, Darlington.

Gene was born in Darlington County on Feb. 14, 1937. Gene was raised by his mother, Macie Jeffords Atkinson and stepfather, T.H. Atkinson. Mr. O’Neal served in the Army National Guard, and he retired from Sonoco.

Gene loved riding the roads on his motorcycle, and enjoyed breaking things down and putting them back together – and sometimes it would work. He enjoyed playing golf and eating out with his friends.

Gene loved his buddy, Toby, and close friends James and Joanne Atkinson. He was a member of Temple Free Will Baptist Church.

Surviving are his wife of 58 years, Doris T. O’Neal; two daughters, Renee Elmore (Jason) Eudy, Lynn (James) Johnson; grandchildren, Jamie Johnson, Jonathan Elmore and Amanda Johnson; one great-grandchild, Carter Paschal; three brothers, Heyward Atkinson, Ralph Atkinson and Ed O’Neal, all of Darlington; sister, Mary Heinz of Troy, N.C.; brother-in-law, Horace Turner, and lots of nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his son, William Eugene O’Neal; brothers, James Atkinson, David Atkinson, and Wesley O’Neal, and David O’Neal.

The family would like to give their deepest appreciation to James and Joanne Atkinson, and Carol and Ed Grooms.

Memorials may be made to Temple Free Will Baptist Church, 1660 N. Governor Williams Highway, Darlington, SC 29540.

A guestbook is available online at

Author: Stephan Drew

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