Frank O’Neal (a.k.a. The “Rod” Father), 87, of Coopertown, TN, passed away on February 6, 2023, in Nashville, TN.
Visitation will be at 11:30 A.M. on Friday, February 10, 2023, at Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens Funeral Home with the funeral following at 1:30 P.M.
Frank was born in Montgomery County Tennessee to H.B. and Christine O’Neal on October 8, 1935. He graduated from Litton High School. He was married to the love of his life, Judy O’Neal on May 16, 1958, in Nashville, TN. They spent nearly 65 years wonderful years together.
Frank was a veteran of the U.S. Army serving two years in in the Motor Corp in Korea from 1958-1960. After coming home and meeting his son for the first time, he worked as a manager for Universal Tire for 20+ years.
He was a Master Mason, member of the John B. Garrett Lodge #711: 32º Scottish Rite Mason, member of Al Menah Shrine Temple and active member of the Shrine Motor Corp.
Featured in numerous car magazines, Frank was a big car enthusiast and heavily active in the Nashville car scene. Starting back when the Nashville fairgrounds had a dirt track through the asphalt being laid, Frank raced in numerous divisions including the Hobby Division and Sportsman Car Division. Frank traveled all around the Southeast participating in various races like Daytona in 1968. He was one of the first charter members for the National Street Rod Association, one of the founding members of the Shade Tree Street Rods and was a member of ‘The Coasters’ – the first charter car club in Nashville.
He also enjoyed traveling out west with his wife and friends and stopping in little sleepy towns to go snowmobiling. Sharp as a tack, he always had a story to tell with great detail – no matter the topic and would tell them to anyone who would lend an ear and their time.
Frank is preceded in death by his parents, H.B. and Christine O’Neal.
He is survived by wife, Judy O’Neal, son Steve O’Neal and daughter-in-law Diana Pelletier and daughter Karen Bradley and son-in-law in Tommy Bradley, brother Johnny Melford “Mickey” O’Neal, grandchildren Magen (Carson) Kisner, Shawna O’Neal and Ryan (Melody) O’Neal, great-grandchildren, Ellie Mae, Cortland, Wayde and Reeves – who lovingly knew him as Pawpaw.
Pallbearers will be Tommy Bradley, Carson Kisner, Shawna O’Neal, Ryan O’Neal and Carl Rose.
In the leu of flowers and gifts, the family requests donations be made to the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital. The family of Frank O’Neal wishes to extend their sincere thanks to all the wonderful people at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for all the care shown for him.