John Thomas Onellion, 82, passed away on July 15, 2023. He was born on February 2, 1941 in Ft. McPherson, Atlanta, GA to Willard and Gertrude Smith Onellion.
John was a loving father, son, brother, grandfather and great-grandfather who brought a smile to everyone he met in life. His quick-wit and sense of humor brought joy and levity to anyone he encountered.
John was also a Patriot devoted to his Country. A retired Army Master-Sergeant, his distinguished Military Service spanned over 18 years. As a Veteran of Foreign Wars, John served in both Korea and Vietnam, where he spent over seven years in both military and civilian roles.
His main interests included cooking Cajun and Asian cuisine, tending to his garden, playing bluegrass on the guitar, and designing ornamental Ukranian eggs. Having attended LSU in the 1950s, John was also a passionate college football fan. He never missed a game, whether it was attending LSU tailgates on Saturdays in the fall, or simply enjoying watching them on TV at home in the comfort of the air conditioning with his two sons, Matt and Will.
Among John’s hobbies were genealogy, where he would spend countless hours researching and collating details of his heritage. Gathering stories, pictures, and historical records, John amassed a collection of family history that would trace the Onellions all the way back to the 17th century.
John had an especially close relationship with his sister Bonnie. When asked to describe some memories of their childhood, Bonnie would reminisce about hanging out at their mother’s house while eating popcorn and John cracking his knuckles. She would listen to him while he played his guitar and look at his drawings. When he was deployed to Vietnam, Bonnie always worried about him and hoped for his safe return. Among other memories were John’s Volkswagen Beetle, the “hippie” look he had taken on when he would come to visit Ponchatoula, and the letters she would send him overseas which always ended with the “peace” sign. They would always stay in contact with each other in later years.
Those left to cherish his memory are, his beloved wife of 42 years, Annette Manuel Onellion; Sons: Matthew (Myla) Onellion and William (Madeline) Onellion; Grandsons: Myljon (May-Ann) Maurillo and Kent (Stepanie) Diaz; Great-grandsons: Emanuel-John Maurillo and Kenzo Diaz; and Sister, Bonnie (Sydney) Dunn.
A gathering of friends and family will be held from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM on Friday, July 21, 2023 in the Johnson Funeral Home Chapel, located at 4321 Lake Street, Lake Charles, LA. Burial will be at 10:00 AM Saturday, July 22, 2023 in Consolata Cemetery, located at 2300 Country Club Rd., Lake Charles, LA under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home.
The family would like to give special thanks to the Dunn family for their unwavering support as well as the hundreds of friends and family that have reached out in this difficult time. Dad loved you all.