Obituary of Patricia O’Neill, singer, presenter and organiser of charity shows; born 29 August, 1929, in Edinburgh; died 3 June, 2007, in Livingston, aged 77.
Way back in the 1970s, when Livingston had just been designated a new town, entertainment in the town was limited to shows staged in the church hall of St Columba’s Church, which at that time worked on a strictly ecumenical basis, shared equally by Catholics and Protestants.
Pat O’Neill and her mother, with support from Pat’s adoring husband, Joe Dydik, staged some of the first concerts in the new town, with the entire proceeds always dedicated and donated to a worthy cause.
Her devotion to her Catholic faith enabled O’Neill to help raise thousands of pounds for her Church as well as local and national charities. She and her husband became friends of Sir Tom Farmer, who supported her charity work. Both had Leith backgrounds, of course.
In her latter years, O’Neill’s husband died and a light went out in her life. She never recovered from losing Joe and she rarely sang in public again as her illness took its toll. Yet none of those who visited her ever left without seeing her bonny smile as she waved them goodbye.
The Livingston entertainment scene would have been that much dimmer without the bright light which was the soprano Patricia O’Neill. She will never be forgotten for the joy and happiness her singing brought people of all ages.
Full story at The Scotsman.