Elizabeth Lyon “Libby” O’Neal
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Elizabeth Lyon “Libby” O’Neal, 47, died Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009 at Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center in Fort Myers, Fla. She died peacefully in her sleep after a battle with cancer.
She was born Feb. 27, 1961, in Middlebury, the daughter of Denton L. and Ann B. Lyon.
She graduated from Middlebury Union High School and went on to attend Champlain College in Burlington, receiving an associate’s degree in hotel/motel/restaurant management in 1983. Soon thereafter she moved to Florida to pursue a career as a restaurant and catering manager. Her assignments moved her to various Florida cities before she finally settled in Fort Myers. There she met David L. O’Neal, whom she married on Oct. 14, 1995.
She became a gourmet as a result of her work in the restaurant and food service industry, and friends and family say she was always preparing special appetizers and meals for friends and family, who greatly enjoyed her epicurean talents.
In addition to fine foods, her interests included animal welfare, and she and her husband owned and adopted numerous horses, cats and dogs at their country home. She participated in Horses for the Handicapped, and a favorite pastime was horseback riding on the trails through the fields and forests surrounding her property.
Libby is survived by her husband, David; two brothers, Blair Lyon of Vancouver, Wash., and Matthew Lyon of Charlotte, N.C.; brothers-in-law James O’Neal and wife Pat of Bluefield, W.Va., and Robert O’Neal and wife Becky of Richmond, Va.; and sisters-in-law Robin Peoples and husband Chris of Charlotte, N.C., Carolyn Wiemer and husband Jon of Denver, Colo., and Kimberly Midkiff and husband Jerry of Springfield, Va.
A memorial service was held at Friday, Jan. 30, in Fort Myers. A celebration of life at the O’Neal residence followed.
Memorial donations may be made to the Gulf Coast Humane Society, 2010 Arcadia Street, Fort Myers, FL 33916.