Jean Ann Zellner O’Neal , 81, of Griffin passed away on Tuesday, August 10, 2021. Born in Forsyth, Georgia on June 15, 1940, Mrs. O’Neal was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Oscar Barnes O’Neal and her parents, Mary Virginia Renfroe and Simeon Holmes Zellner.
Jean Ann delighted in sharing her creativity and never shied from running with a theme whether it was in her classroom, any holiday, special occasion, church functions, and even the Little Free Library in her front yard. No occasion was too small to not be special enough for Jean Ann to celebrate it or decorate it! Jean Ann was at her happiest with a glue gun, a flat of annual flowers and a party to plan.
Jean Ann was an honor graduate of both Mary Persons High School and of GSCW in Milledgeville. She also received a master’s degree from West Georgia College. Jean Ann was a revered educator who taught Science for thirty years at Spalding Jr. High Unit III, Taylor Street Middle School and Orrs Elementary School. During her career, Jean Ann received much recognition and many awards, including being the first recipient of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution’s State Honor Teacher Award in 1985.
Mrs. O’Neal was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Griffin for 45 years, where she gladly served with the Library Committee and with the Benevolence Committee. The Church and the Lydian Sunday School Class were very dear to her. Jean Ann was also proud to have helped charter the local Keep America Beautiful group in Griffin.
Survivors include her son, John Gregory O’Neal (Charlotte Ann) of Atlanta, her daughter, Natalie O’Neal Turner (Jason) of Alpharetta, Grandchildren, Margaret Virginia O’Neal, and Hall Gregory O’Neal of Atlanta and special friends Carol and Lloyd Bohannon.
A private burial will be held Friday, August 13 at Forsyth City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Salvation Army P.O. Box 798, Griffin, GA 30224 or Monroe County Historical Society, P.O. Box 401, Forsyth, GA 31029.
Monroe County Memorial Chapel has charge of arrangements.