The Inspiration Behind ASA Books Has Earned Her Wings
While she was not a veteran of war, she was a fierce warrior of love and kindness. A messenger, really, here to spread the importance of knowing God and getting a good education. On this Memorial Day 2021, ASA Books celebrates the life and legacy of Angeline Lucille O'Neil, who passed away this May at the age of 94. She was a woman who was many things to many people, but to us, she was simply Grandma.
Who Was Angeline?
Angeline Lucille O'Neil was her name. Ms. O'Neil is what most of the community called her. But within the walls of our Brooklyn home she was known simply as mom, granny, gi gi or little ladybug. At a mere 5 feet tall, she'd always say "I'm a small piece of leather, but I'm well put together." She was a lifelong champion of education and would often gift her grandchildren and children on her block $5 if they got all A's and B's on their report cards.
What Did She Love?
She was a quiet, yet feisty little lady who loved God, strawberry ice-cream, and President Barack Obama. She enjoyed travel, to Connecticut & the south mostly, but always said "there's no place like home", referring to Brooklyn and the love she had for her beautiful corner, brownstone house. She loved sitting on her porch, where you could find her almost any warm day waving at travelers passing by and giving thanks for the birds and the trees.
A LEGACY OF LOVE Leaving a legacy of love, kindness, and the importance of getting “a good education” both traditional and unconventional, was her superpower and purpose. And it was a job well done. The measure of any good teacher is being able to see your students become teachers themselves. To be able to take the lessons learned and not only apply them individually but to teach others, so that the ripple effect takes hold and you can see your work transcend. In the words of Maya Angelo, “when you learn, you teach”. HER LEGACY LIVES ON Angeline Lucille O’Neil did just that. Her life was a blueprint of someone who took their life’s assignment and excelled beyond measure. Her legacy will continue to be seen and felt for years to come. Not only will her immediate family and friends work each day to honor her life by showing love and kindness, but they will all strive to do it in her name’s sake. And what a blessing it will be to continue important work, in her name. The O’Neil Family Scholarship Fund, which was started by her children over 10 years ago will continue gifting scholarship awards to elementary school students at graduation annually. We, her granddaughters, in 2018 formed ASA Books, home of self-published books that teach literacy through theme-based storytelling and engaging art will also continue to honor her life through being a champion for childhood literacy.
An Original Poem, by Angeline Lucille O'Neil
"I think that I'll shall never see. A poem as lovely as a tree. A tree that bears in summer May time. Birds flying all through her leaves. Poems were made for fools like you a me. But only God made that tree".
Thank you for taking the time to read and learn about our grandmother, who serves as the A in ASA. Who will continue to lead us in all of our endeavors. Who we hope to continue making proud through our work of bringing beautiful content to children everywhere.
Until Next Time,
Happy Reading & Learning
The ASA Books Team