Aleta Beth Hardin O’Neal went to be with her sweet Jesus May 5, 2020, at the age of 81, surrounded by her loving family.
She leaves a legacy of love for her family and all the loved ones in her treasure chest of friends.
Survived by her devoted husband of 62 years, Bobby O’Neal; daughters Stacy Pannell and Tami Ellis; foster son, Terry Lane; seven grandchildren and their spouses; and 10 great-grandchildren with one on the way; and a sister, Brenda Zilinski of Lometa, Texas.
Born February 11, 1939, in Josephine, Texas, to William Prim Hardin and Dorothea Aven Hardin.
They later moved to Levelland where she met and married Bobby O’Neal, the boy next door and fellow Levelland High School classmate.
After living in several Texas towns, they settled in Houston in 1968.
They joined West University Baptist Church in 1969 and she was involved as a Sunday school teacher and in the WMU organization.
In 1971, she started Open Door, an arts and crafts program as an outreach to the community.
Thousands of women and men of different ethnic and racial backgrounds have been through the Open Door program in the past 49 years.
Aleta was a talented artist and taught watercolor for years and loved giving her paintings as gifts.
Aleta and Bobby owned Europe in the Village, a European gift shop in Rice Village of Houston for 23 years.
Aleta was a hostess extraordinaire and a gifted storyteller and writer. She knew how to captivate her audiences with her stories, her beautiful smile and infectious laugh.
She loved to travel and was fortunate to travel the world with Bobby. They had many adventures and collected friends from all over the world.
In 2006, they purchased a second home in Roscrea, Ireland, and got very involved with the churches and the community there. They loved hosting friends and family from the USA at their Irish home and showing them the beautiful country.
At the time of her death, she was working on a mission project with her home church in Houston for the town of Roscrea, Ireland.
Most of all she loved the Lord and wanted everyone she encountered to know Him also.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the family has not been able to have a memorial service, although gifts in her memory can be made to “Ireland Outreach” c/o West University Baptist Church, 6218 Auden Street, Houston, Texas, 77005.