Florist Mable O’Neal celebrates 90th birthday

March 1, 2013

Mable L. O’Neal of Laurel recently celebrated her 90th birthday at a luncheon with approximately 60 members of her family and friends at the Georgia House in Laurel. Mable was born Feb. 17, 1923, to Joseph and Laura McClements of Smyrna. She was the second of nine children and oldest daughter.

She married Andrew C. O’Neal of Laurel on Dec. 7, 1952 and they had two children, Joseph (wife Annelle) and Carolyn, with whom she lives. She has two grandsons, Andy (wife Crystal) and Randy (wife Laurie), and five great-grandchildren: Isaac, Samuel, Paige, Ava and Henry.

Mable began her florist career at the age of 18 by working at the former Vane’s Florist in Dover, located where Dover Downs is now. She also worked for Cook and Smith Florist in Dover during the late 1950s. In 1960, Mable and her husband opened their own florist business, O’Neal’s Florist in Laurel, in a remodeled potato house behind their home. She continued to operate it by herself after her husband’s death in 1966. Mrs. O’Neal closed her business after undergoing heart bypass surgery in 2005 and retired at the age of 82.

Mrs. O’Neal now keeps busy by crocheting baby afghans for the maternity ward at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, cooking and enjoying her great-grandchildren.


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