Paul joined the Rotary Club of Winchester in 1961 and remained active until health and years diminished his ability to participate fully. For those who did not have the opportunity to meet or serve with Paul I can say with all honesty that Paul was the quintessential “Quiet Man”, a truly gentle man. He had that sly Irish wit but never demeaning and often profound. A man of great conviction, compassion and commitment Paul served our club with distinction and was recognized for his service with a Paul Harris Fellow.
Paul’s classification was Drugs-Retailing. He owned and operated O’Neil’s Pharmacy on the corner of Washington and Swanton Streets for over 40 years. (Some of you old timers may remember when that drug store was known as Purtle’s) As a businessman Paul was noted for his integrity and for being a principled and ethical practitioner of his profession. The Four Way Test was part of his daily life.
Paul and his “Rotary Ann” Gere were mainstays at the Barn and Auction. He worked the Pancake Breakfast, was always there on Tournament Day and worked diligently to perpetuate the Rotary Club of Winchester and the ideals of Rotary. The fact that the Rotary Club of Winchester is still active and vibrant in the community is a testament to Paul’s efforts to further the concept of community service and “Service Above Self”.
Paul was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather who will be sorely missed by his family. We as Rotarians should thank the O’Neil family for sharing Paul with us and for his many years of service to the Rotary Club of Winchester.