With the help of the Garner Civitan Club, J.C. O’Neal was surprised to learn recently he had been inducted by Gov. Pat McCrory as a member of The Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
A Wake County native and resident of Garner for nearly 50 years, O’Neal retired as a school teacher from Garner Senior High School after teaching at Gold Sand, Garner, Franklinton, and again in Garner. And avid sportsman, he played, coached or officiated events from Pop Warner to junior college throughout his career. After retirement, he was elected to serve on the Wake County Board of Education for two terms. Listening to his constituents, he was able to secure the first year-round elementary school (Timber Drive) in the Garner community.
A member and Sunday school teacher at First Baptist Church since the ’70s, O’Neal had been active in Civitans as well. He can often be seen assisting with keeping statistics or supporting the high school sports teams.