Frankie O'Neal

Senior Spotlight 3/15/2019

Story by: Abigail Hutson-SmithStudent Journalist

Mrs. Frances Lee O’Neal was born in 1939 in Chester, South Carolina. Her father was a police officer and much like her, he was witty and loved to talk to anyone who would listen.

While working on a military base as a librarian, she met a Marine commanding officer who would soon become her husband. Mrs. O’Neal, while never having any children of her own, raised her husband and his late wife’s four lovely children. In later years, the family decided to relocate to Winnsboro in order for them to be closer to her husband’s work.

One of Mrs. O’Neal’s favorite things about Winnsboro is that it’s close to her family. Mrs. O’Neal has worked for several libraries including Chester Children and Charlotte Children’s Library. She is a former president of Storytellers and is the founder of the schools Library Association. She works with the Genealogy Society to help people trace their family’s history.

She also does weekly story tellings in schools, senior citizens homes, and libraries. Mrs. O’Neal was one of the first librarians to digitize her library. She was quick to pick up on computers and how they work. Yet to her, there’s still nothing better than paper. “You wouldn’t want to curl up with a good laptop to read at night, would you? No, you curl up with a good book,” O’Neal said. Before computers, she used card catalogs. Her favorite section was 398.2.

Mrs. O’Neal’s favorite type of story is Old Tales and Lies. “If I can steal it and put myself in the story I will,” she added. Mrs. O’Neal also enjoys reading about history. Despite being 80 years old, Mrs. O’Neal never slows down. She has impacted many people and left her mark on many lives.