Veola O’Neil and her brother, R.L. Thomas, hold highway signs indicating their ages. (Courtesy photo)

Family and friends gathered with Veola L. O’Neil at La Boheme Restaurant in West Hollywood to celebrate her tenth decade of enjoying life. The partygoers included Mrs. O’Neil’s 101-year-old brother, R.L. Thomas, who lives in Oakland, California, and her dear friend, Loriece Cotton, age 97. 

A resident of Redondo Beach, Mrs. O’Neil witnessed many achievements during her 100 years of living.  Born on July 9, 1922 in Bryan, Texas, she received Bachelor’s degree from Prairie View University followed by her marriage to Emmitt Leon O’Neil. The couple relocated to California and soon became parents to a son and daughter.  

Continuing her education, Mrs. O’Neil earned her Master’s degree at San Francisco State University and worked for the next 42 years as a teacher with the Alameda County Unified School District. Her exceptional tenure was recognized by the Oakland Education Association, which honored Mrs. O’Neil as a “Master Educator.”   

Over the years, she has received several awards and commendations saluting her volunteer contributions and charitable endeavors. Her community involvement includes lifetime membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, In., and affiliations with both the Los Angeles and Oakland chapters of the auxiliary of the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine.  

In 2002, Mrs. O’Neil relocated to Southern California to assist with raising her granddaughter. She maintains an active life by lending her talents to her church and to programs hosted by the Redondo Beach Anderson Community Senior Center where she previously served as president.