February 29, 2004


From the San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, February 29, 2004

O'NEAL, Ray Ryan - Ray was the extraordinarily loving husband of Sophie and beloved and devoted father to Rose Ellen. He passed away unexpectedly after an accident on February 25, 2004. Ray was born in Berkeley, CA, on June 11, 1966 to Capt. Ray O'Neal and the late Helen Hayden. His adored second mother was Sally Welch Young. He is survived by his father, Ray; stepmother, Suzanne; and aunt, Robin; his beloved sister Abigail Hayo and husband, Mike; brother, Bill Young and wife, Inger; his brothers-in-law, Blaise Simqu, James Garrett, Sean O'Connell and Richard Julien; his adored nieces and nephews, Edward and Michael Hayo, Johnson, Margo, Gunnar, and Emmett Young, William and Isabelle Simqu, Jack Garrett, Cameron and Haleigh O'Connell and Dean and Coryn Julien. He is also survived by stepbrothers, Ray and Justin Mathis.

Ray was a beloved and treasured part of the Ford, O'Connell, McNeill, Greeley, Simqu and Nevins families among others. Ray graduated from Acalanes High School in Lafayette, CA in 1984 and received his B.A. from Tulane University in 1988. He was a member of the Delta [Tau Delta] fraternity and the Tulane rowing team. He remained extremely close to his brothers and friends from Tulane, and others he gathered along the way, in particular Ron, Anthony, Chuck, Dave and Marc. Ray was an adventurer. After traveling extensively throughout the world, Ray returned to San Francisco in 1994 where he met his true love, Sophie and started a family. Ray had a lifelong love of the sea. He was an avid sailor, crew master and captain on the majestic schooner, Yankee; member of the St. Francis Yacht Club; a swimmer with the Dolphin Club of San Francisco; and a certified dive master. He was also a born leader whose natural handiness and desire to help others and to create led him into a successful career in construction management. Ray was in love with life. He was interested in discovering and sharing all the world had to offer. He loved to learn and teach, and his patience and guidance were models for everyone. His curiosity about life and people was insatiable. Ray shared of himself and his remarkable goodness so that anyone who ever had the honor to meet or know him became a friend. He showed us all that a man can be: strong and sweet, rugged and gentle, but always good. A Memorial will be held at the St. Francis Yacht Club on the Marina in San Francisco, CA on Wednesday, March 3, 2004 at 11:00 a.m. All are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Rose O'Neal or to help maintain his beloved boat, "Yankee." Please make contributions either to the Rose Ellen O'Neal Fund, or to The Yankee LLC, both at 358 Skyline Drive, Daly City, CA 94015. Ray will be forever remembered and missed by his many, many close, beloved family and friends. We will keep his memory alive and with us always. In all the world, there was no one that he loved more, or who loved him more than Sophie and Rosebud.