He was born Nov. 2, 1972, in Hong Kong, the second of three boys of Ed and Jan Fennell O'Neill. After spending the first five years of his life in the Far East, Brian spent his entire grade and high school years in Pekin, Ill., where he graduated from Pekin High School in 1990 as president of his class.
Brian pursued higher education at the University of Missouri at Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology) where he obtained a bachelor of science in mining engineering in 1995. He was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, Society of Mining Engineers and the social fraternity Theta Tau Omega.
Brian worked for Caterpillar his entire career as a marketing representative. Brian's job took him to Peoria, Chicago, Denver and Edmonton, Canada.
Brian met his wife, Angie Baer, in college. They married April 19, 1997, in St. Louis.
He was a devoted and loving father to two of his greatest joys, his sons with Angie, Gavin (7) and Grant (6). He loved to watch them play sports, to take them to movies and to snuggle with them.
Brian's two brothers were another of his greatest sources of joy. He thoroughly enjoyed fishing and playing cards with Sean (Cheryl) O'Neill and Michael (Jennifer) O'Neill.
Brian loved his family -- all of them -- including his very large extended family and his wife's very large extended family.
His grandparents, Leo O'Neill, Loretta Johnston O'Neill, Joseph T. Fennell, and Betty White Fennell-Breese, preceded him in death.
In 1997, Brian began a battle with brain cancer. Brian courageously and valiantly fought the cancer until his dying breath March 17, 2009.
Brian's impact on the world is immeasurable and his legacy will live on.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Wright and Salmon Mortuary, 2416 N. North St., Peoria, and from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Northwoods Community Church, 10700 N. Allen Road, Peoria.
The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family has established a fund for the future education and upbringing of their children. Contributions may be made by contacting Jayme Bailey at Baird Financial, 309-676-4160, or by visiting keepbelievingfund.blogspot.com.