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William J. O'Neil, assistant chief of narcotics May 6, 1936 -- April 9, 2012

William J. O'Neil, a former assistant chief of narcotics in the Erie County Sheriff's Office, died April 9 in St. Petersburg, Fla., after a short illness. He was 75.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. O'Neil was an usher at St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo. He also was an active member of Madeira Beach Post 273, American Legion, and a vice commander for Squadron 735, Sons of the American Legion, in West Seneca.

Mr. O'Neil worked in the Sheriff's Office for 35 years, retiring at 55. Before he was the assistant chief of narcotics, he served as a corrections officer, radio dispatcher, road deputy, detective and detective sergeant of narcotics.

Following retirement, he lived in Buffalo for six months of the year and in St. Petersburg for the other six months.

Mr. O'Neil is survived by his wife of 20 years, Judy; and three daughters, Kathleen Benedict, Patricia and Charlene Zawadzki.

A memorial service will be held at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Post 735, American Legion, 35 Legion Parkway, West Seneca.