Mary Verhagen O’Neill

Mary Verhagen O’Neill was born on June 17, 1935 in Kaukauna, Wisconsin to Ben and Margaret Coffee Verhagen. She passed to her eternal life on August 27, 2022 in Friendswood, Texas. She was preceded in death by her devoted husband, John William O’Neill on August 18, 2014, her sister Margaret Guilfoyle, her brother Bud Verhagen, and her Great Granddaughter Emmaline O’Neill.
She is survived by her daughter Kathleen O’Neill; son Dan O’Neill and daughter-in-law Barbara, son Colin O’Neill; daughter Peggy O’Neill Ren and son-in-law Stephen Ren. Mary was blessed and loved by 13 grandchildren, Neil Christianson: Pete Christianson and wife Ciera Guardia: Conor O’Neill and wife Erin O’Neill; Rhys O’Neill and wife Linsy O’Neill: Brannan O’Neill; Logan O’Neill; Siobhan O’Neill; Kaelen O’Neill; Owen O’Neill; Megan O’Neill and husband Patrick Herndon; Kelsey Crawford and husband Kyle Crawford; Maureen Ren; Sarah Welke and husband Justin Welke; Mary was also blessed with five great grandchildren. She is also survived by brothers Jack Verhagen and wife Lorraine Verhagen, Don Verhagen and wife Kitty Verhagen, Dick Verhagen and wife Karen Verhagen, and Bob Verhagen and wife Marcia Verhagen.
Mary was the oldest of seven children and grew up on the family dairy farm. She left the Kaukauna farm to receive her nursing degree in Madison, Wisconsin where she met John while she was training and he was stationed as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. They moved to Houston, Texas in 1965 when John started his 35-year career for NASA at the Johnson Space Center.
In the community, Mary was active in St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Nassau Bay, Texas. She faithfully served her Church throughout her life while establishing the religious education program, the Bereavement Committee, and the Parish Nurse program. She also served as a Eucharistic minister.

Mary worked as the School Nurse at South Houston High School for 17 years before retiring to spend time travelling with John and attending the many school sports and events of her cherished grandchildren.

A rosary will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Paul’s. A Funeral Mass celebrating Mary’s life will then be held at the Church on Saturday, September 17, 2022 at 10:30 a.m.  In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation may be made in Mary’s memory to St. Paul’s St. Vincent DePaul Society or to the St. Paul Building Fund.


  1. Still trying to grasp the news of Mary no longer being with us. Such a sad, sad time for so many of us who knew and loved her. There’s no doubt that she and John are together again and that makes our loss a bit easier to accept. We will see you again our dear Mary! Thinking of all her devoted family.

    Joyce Dill
  2. Mrs. O’Neill was my example of what a lifelong friend and hospitable host should be. As a kid, I remember going to her house where she always had a smile, a cold drink and a yummy snack ready. The friendship she provided to our family is something I hope to emulate. Such a kind, faithful, loving lady is going to be missed, but her memory will live on through her family, and all who loved her.

    Katherine (Campo) Williams
  3. Dr O’Neill and family,
    we are saddened to hear the loss of your mom/grandmother/great grandmother. She was always supportive of anything at St Paul’s, including music and she LOVED our dinner shows; always in the front row! I loved her smile and being able to talk to her. She will be missed. Y’all are in our thoughts and prayers. I am sure she, now with her husband John, is looking down on all of you with tremendous pride!
    hugs to all of you
    Liz Chris and Jacob Miller

    Liz Miller
  4. How lucky we all were to have Mrs. O’Neill in our lives. She had a good sense of humor and always had a snack for those visiting. I will always remember her Irish Christmas tree and her shamrock cookies. (And yes the recipe for her cookies was written in green so it was easy to find in my Mom’s recipe file.)

    Mary Jo Campo

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