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September 08, 2022

Legacy of Mike and Jean O’Neill lives on at new Markdale hospital

O'Neill family pose with cheque for $50,000.

Left to right: Tracy O’Neill, Deb Fawcett, Peggy Ferris, Dave Fawcett, Brothers Charlie, Tom and Joe O’Neill, Kaely and Shelby O’Neill (Toms’ daughters), holding Remington Jean (Shelby’s daughter) .

The O’Neill family has deep roots in this area, with Mike being born and raised in Glenelg and Jean being born and raised in Holland Centre.

Jean and Mike worked the family farm on Hwy 10 for 68+ years. This is where they raised their family of 6; Caroline, Charlie, Danny, Joe, Terry and Tom – (alphabetic in case you are wondering). Sadly, both Caroline and Terry passed far too young. The remaining 4 boys continue to live locally.

Mike and Jean both volunteered for everything; the Fall Fair, the Street Frolic, Kinsmen, Kinettes…. to name a few. Tom’s 2 daughters - Shelby and Kaely (pictured above) - could often be found tagging along with their Grandma & Grandpa in the community.

Jean canvassed for every charity there is; but the hospital and the Hospital Auxiliary were very close to her heart. I guess having 6 kids that all used the hospital (and some of them repeatedly) helped with that!

On any given day you would find Jean volunteering in the hospital or the Pennywise (Hospital Thrift Shop). Jean was a valued member of the Hospital Auxiliary for OVER 60 YEARS, which exemplifies her dedication to local healthcare.

It is with pride that the O’Neill family dedicate a patient room in the new Markdale Hospital, in memory of Mike and Jean O’Neill.

“They were such strong member of this community. It is very fitting that their legacy carry on through this naming” said Dave Fawcett, member of the “Together In Care” campaign for the new Markdale Hospital. “We are grateful to the O’Neill family for their leadership support to the new Markdale Hospital stated Peggy Ferris, member of the Centre Grey Health Services Foundation Board of Directors. “This donation will impact the entire community” declared Ferris.

The new Markdale Hospital will be 68,000 square feet and is over 60% complete. It is on track to open in late 2023.

For further details on how you can help, please visit


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