Virginia O'Neill

    Virginia Dare O’Neill, 93, of Andrews, passed away Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, at Valley View Care Center in Andrews.
    Being named after the first white woman born in America, Mrs. O’Neill was born May 18, 1922, in Beckley, W.Va., to the late William Erby Knighton and Ida Cook Knighton.
    In addition to her parents and all of her nine siblings, she was preceded in death by her husband, Paul “Bud” O’Neill; and two sons, William Vernon Stell and John Augustine Washington.
    She served her country bravely in 1944 during World War II as a WASP, which was composed of 1,700 women, each receiving a Congressional Gold Medal of late.
    Her grandfather before her, Robert W. Cook of Stokes County, fought for the Confederate army during the Civil War, serving in the F 21st Regiment North Carolina Troops.
    After her marriage to Naval Aviator Max W. Stell, they moved to Surabaya Java to instruct Dutch flyers. After the war broke out, they returned to the United States aboard the Boschfontein steamer ship on a 39-day trip.
    Virginia divorced in 1950 and became a stewardess for National Airlines, then later became the special representative for the VIPs aboard Pan American Airlines.
    In the interim, she married Jack Washington and was later divorced. She then met and married James “Bud” O’Neill. They moved from Belleair Beach, Fla., in 2003 to Boston, Mass., then came to Andrews in 2004.
    Survivors include one son, Max Stell; seven grandchildren and a slew of great-grandchildren.
    Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at Cochran Funeral Home of Murphy.
    The family will receive friends from 9-10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at Cochran Funeral Home.
    Arrangements are entrusted to Cochran Funeral Home of Murphy.
    You may send condolences to the family and sign the guest register at

The Cherokee Scout

Mailing Address:
89 Sycamore St. 

Murphy, NC 28906
Phone: 828-837-5122
Fax: 828-837-5832