Tom Burton and Peggy O’Neill, the world’s most devoted couple, were killed in a car accident on July 19, 2019. They were an adored and actively involved aunt and uncle to their dozens of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, never missing a family event. Tom and Peggy valued their family above all else. Married for 19 years and together 15 years before that, the love they felt for one another was inspiring, and they were rarely apart. Their favorite moments were sitting around a table with their loved ones, and they both selflessly prioritized their parents and siblings, in times of need and in celebration. They were also very supportive of causes such as the American Cancer Society.
Margaret (Peggy) Mary O’Neill was born October 8, 1956, in Graceville, Minnesota, to Philip and Vivian (Sauer) O’Neill. At Beardsley High School, Peggy was a cheerleader, homecoming queen, selected for Girls State, and graduated with honors in 1974. She then attended Willmar Community College and later moved to Browns Valley, MN. While there she operated a ceramic shop and worked for the Browns Valley Cable Company. In 1982 she moved to Dilworth, MN, and worked at a bank, then in the library at NDSU from 1984 to 1989. She dedicated the rest of her career to Moorhead State University until her retirement in 2017. Peggy loved tending to her flowers and plants as well as spending time working in her vegetable garden, attending Straw Hat Plays, and volunteering for the Fargo Film Festival. Peggy, an excellent cook famous for her baked beans and chocolate cake, always wore a smile on her face, and had a heart of gold.
Thomas (Tom) Andrew Burton was born on August 9, 1956, in New Rockford, North Dakota, to Myron and Ovedia Burton. He graduated from Fargo North in 1974, then attended Detroit Lakes MN State Community College, earning an Associates Degree. Tom worked for Steiger Tractor and then Burlington Northern Railroad for 40 years, retiring in 2016. Outside of work, Peggy was a much-needed brake on Tom’s exuberance, for blacksmithing, leatherworking, fly fishing, woodworking, scuba diving, and—the list goes on.
Peggy and Tom were married on St. Patrick’s Day 2000. Together they enjoyed being at the lake, gardening, cooking, travel, listening to MPR, theater, motorcycling, crafting their own beer and being members of the Home Brewers Club, attending WE Fest, and belonging to the Plainsmen Buckskinners Club in Fargo. Peggy was the head chef, assisted by sous chef and chief taster Tom; but he did supply the mushrooms and the compost in which they were grown.
Peggy and Tom will be dearly missed by their loving families and many, many friends. Tom is survived by his mother Ovedia Burton of Fargo, ND; siblings Michael, Margaret, Claudia (Curt) Koppelman, all of Fargo, ND; Debbie Conarty of Portland, OR; and Jeffrey Burton (Varda Nauen) of Saint Paul, MN; 4 nieces and nephews, one great-nephew plus one on the way, and extended family. Tom was preceded in death by his father, Myron Burton, in 1994.
Peggy is survived by her father Philip, who turns 100 next month, siblings Kevin (Nancy) O’Neill of Lincoln, CA; Maureen O’Neill (Jay Oine) of Roseville, MN; Linda (Pat) Nebben of Becker, MN; Mike (Mary) O’Neill of Beardsley, MN; Philip “Bud” (Cathy) O’Neill of Bennett, CO; Laurie (Dale) Haukos of Beardsley, MN; and Kerry O’Neill (Kyle Fossen) of Sartell, MN; 23 nieces and nephews, and 42 great-nieces and great-nephews, plus countless extended family. Peggy was preceded in death by her loving mother in January, 2019.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to Lend A Hand Up, Fargo, ND, or the American Cancer Society.
Prayer Service: 4:00 P.M. Sunday, July 28, 2019 at Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo with visitation starting at 3:00 P.M.
Funeral Services: 10:00 A.M. Monday, July 29, 2019 at Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo with visitation starting at 9:00 A.M.
Burial: Scambler Cemetery, Pelican Rapids, MN.
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