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LIMA ?? Willa Mae O??Neal, 83, died at 6:25 a.m. Aug. 17, 2012, at Baton Rouge Senior Health Service Community.

She was born Nov. 17, 1928, in Lynch, Ky., to James B. and Asilee O??Neal Ward, who preceded her in death.

Miss O??Neal had been a laboratory technician at St. Rita??s Medical Center. She was a member of Fourth Street Missionary Baptist Church, where she served on the Kitchen Committee and the Minnie Elkins-McGee Johnson Circle. She was a member of the League of Women Voters, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the board of CAC, and the board of Legal Aid Society. She was a community activist, a volunteer at the Cheryl Allen Center, had served as a Girl Scout leader and was a charter member of Helping Hands Credit Union. She was one of the founding members of Lima-Allen Council on Community Affairs, a member of Church Women United, and a volunteer at the Salvation Army. In 1983, she was named Woman of the Year.

Survivors include three brothers, James (Rozetta) O??Neal, of Detroit, Michael (Facetta) Ward, of Northville, and Melvin Ward, of Lima; five sisters, Mildred Stewart, Myrtle (Rufus) Johnson, Mary J. (Rufus) Williamson, Marsha Henderson and Marlene Smith, all of Lima; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by a brothers, Morris Ward; maternal grandmother, Lezola O??Neal; and a nephew, Jason Ward.

Services will begin at 1 p.m. Friday at Fourth Street Missionary Baptist Church. The Rev. Earnest Stephens Jr. will officiate. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Jones-Clark Funeral Home, where the family will be present from 6 to 8 p.m.

Condolences may be sent to JonesClarkFH@aol.com.

Willa Mae O??Neal
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