The mother of BioQuick News Editor & Publisher Micael D. O’Neill passed away peacefully in her sleep early on Thursday, February 4, 2016, three weeks shy of her 93rd birthday, in Scarsdale, New York, just outside New York City. Mary Jane Kilcoyne O’Neill, retired CEO/Executive Director of The Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration in New York City, was preceded in death by her husband Michael J. O’Neill, former editor of the New York Daily News, in 2012. Mary Jane was well known among New York City, New York State, and Washington, DC political leaders for decades of stalwart service focused on increasing eye donations, improving related medical facilities, and strengthening supportive state and federal legislation. She was also widely recognized in the public relations industry, leading New York Women in Communications, Inc. (President 1980-1981) and Women Executives in Public Relations (President 1986-1987), and advocating forcefully for the Equal Rights Amendment during the 1970s. Mary Jane was born on February 24, 1923 in Detroit, Michigan, the first daughter of father Frank Roger Kilcoyne and mother Kathryn Clementine Rice Kilcoyne. Mary Jane had two older brothers, Frank and Robert, a younger sister Kathryn, and a younger brother John. Growing up in Depression-era Detroit, Mary Jane joined the work force early. Perhaps inspired by the Detroit News printing an essay she wrote at the age of 11, Mary Jane began by taking a reporter position with Detroit’s East Side Shopper newspaper at the age of 14. She served as an editor for that paper from 1939-1945. This was the quiet beginning of a career in journalism that would take Mary Jane, with husband Mike, also a Detroit native, to exciting leadership roles in New York City’s journalism and non-profit organization worlds.
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