Clarice Ann Skeen O’Neal


Clarice Ann Skeen O’Neal passed away October 27, 2020 at home with her family. Her life was generous, kind, and selfless. Clarice was born in Knoxville, Tennessee on January 29, 1945 to Charles and Mary Elizabeth Skeen. Her family moved to South Florida when she was a young child. Her childhood and teenage years were spent enjoying the warm weather and casual lifestyle of south Florida with her brothers Dick, Bill, and Johnny.  During those years she developed an independent spirit and zeal for life.

After graduating from Pompano Beach High School, Clarice attended Mississippi College, where she met and fell in love with Henry O’Neal. Clarice and Henry were married in 1967. Their love of life and love for friends became legendary. Her early married years were marked by dinner parties, houseboats, crawfish boils, and country living in their cabin.

During that time, Clarice began her 35-year career with Delta Airlines and her passion for travel was ignited. She and Henry traveled the world exploring destinations from the Bahamas, to Europe, Korea, Russia, Turkey and so many more.

Clarice’s hospitality reached around the globe. She and Henry opened their home to international students. Katia Visconti and Antonio Orrechia of Italy and Partha Salahuddin and Rizwanna Fatema of Bangladesh have remained dear friends.

Clarice was the loving mother of David O’Neal who resides in Maumelle, Arkansas and Elizabeth O’Neal Smitherman of Madison, Mississippi. She taught them to appreciate travel and different perspectives. She valued family and made time to allow them to develop relationships with cousins, aunts, and uncles. She doted on them with countless Christmas and birthday packages containing all manner of treasures from Dillard’s, bought during annual sales and stockpiled for the big days.

Clarice deeply loved being involved in the lives of her children, and has been vital in helping to raise her grandchildren, William and Cooper O’Neal and Canaan, Foster, and Helen Smitherman. She devoted the last 18 years of her life to caring for and loving her children and grandchildren. She has traveled extensively with her family and attended innumerable band concerts, sporting events, and ballet recitals. Her gift giving prowess has only grown through the years such that the piles of presents surround children and fill entire rooms of her home.

Clarice’s kindness impacted the lives of so many people. She always made time to sit and talk over a cup of coffee or drink, to laugh, to inquire about others. She will be missed by countless friends and family. 

A memorial honoring Clarice has been established at Gardner Memorial United Methodist Church Food Pantry, 1723 Schaer, North Little Rock, AR 72114.

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