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Harriet May Dula O’Neal

Posted By Hall-Wynne On January 18, 2009 @ 12:00 am In Obituaries | No Comments

In Memorial

Harriet May Dula O’Neal died in her home Sunday evening. She was the daughter of the late W. C. and Elise Dula of Durham. She is survived by her son, Frank Marsha of Durham, Bill Diana of Chapel Hill, J. Ross Julie of Spencer, and Michael Sean Susan of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
She is also survived by nine grandchildren: Tyler and Samantha O’Neal, Jake and Evan O’Neal, Kaitlyn O’Neal, Brittany and Natalie Blevins, David, Dennis and Doug Vestal. She is also survived by 7 great grand children: Kyleigh, Carter, Chloe, Blake and Maddie Vestal, and Courtni and Tyler Chapin.
Harriet was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, James Ross O’Neal, Sr., and her sister Patricia Davis. She graduated from Durham High School in 1943 and attended East Carolina University. She was employed by Durham County Schools as the first special educational teacher in the system, and was recognized at the state and local level as an outstanding educator. She received numerous awards for her work with developmentally disabled students.
Harriet was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She served on the Durham County Mental Health Board, taught Sunday school at Asbury United Methodist Church and was a past president of the Tobacco Land Civitan Club.
She loved to read, enjoyed attending plays, concerts, and having lunch with her friends. She was a published poet, active in her Red Hat Club, and regularly attended line dancing and Tai Chi classes. She was intellectually and physically active until the end. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
A memorial service will be held on Friday January 23 at 11:00 am at Asbury United Methodist Church, 806 Clarendon Street, Durham, North Carolina. Family will receive visitors after the service. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials to Asbury United Methodist Church Urban Ministries Fund, 806 Clarendon Street, Durham, NC 27705

Condolences for the family of “Harriet May Dula O’Neal”

Condolence from Craig Rorie on January 21st, 2009 12:00 am

Please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of your mother. I pray that God comfort you, Julie, your children, and your brothers and their families in your grief. I pray that the cherished memories of your mother and her love for you all and the Lord’s grace sustain and comfort your family.

Craig Rorie

Condolence from Louise Koslofsky on January 21st, 2009 12:00 am

I knew Ms O’Neal at Durham County Mental Health. She was a wonderful person and a tremendous asset to the Board.

Condolence from MaryAnn Marples on January 22nd, 2009 12:00 am

I have enjoyed and appreciated the spirit, intelligence and humour that was Harriet for many years as we shared Tai Chi and Line Dancing. I have loved her and will miss her.

Condolence from Alice Pohlmann on January 22nd, 2009 12:00 am

My thoughts are with all the family; I know you were all very important to her. Harriet and I shared Line Dancing and TaiChi for many years.

Condolence from Dr. Jay Dunbar on January 22nd, 2009 12:00 am

Harriet began her study of T’ai-Chi with me in the spring of 1997, a charter member of my class through the Durham Council for Senior Citizens. Over the last 12 years she has been faithful in attendance, and learned the long form of the Wu/Hao style, practicing that and other qigong exercises with us. Her children and theirs can be proud that she not only possessed a compendious memory of places, people, and events in her native Durham, but was also open-minded, gracious, cultured, and intellectually curious: engaged with the larger world, concerned for others, quiet yet with great good humor. She loved when we would sit in a circle and read from Laozi’s Dao de jing, and she always had a wise, stimulating often humorous insight to share. She liked the classical music I chose as background for T

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