Trainer and pastor Gypsy O'Neal passed away January 15, 2022.
Gypsy Ann Brown O'Neal was born on December 29, 1954, in Pasadena, Texas. She arrived weighting a whopping 10 pounds to her 4'10'' mother, Doris Ann Barnes Howell. Gypsy grew up an only child and would admit she was a little spoiled by her Mamaw and Papaw Barnes who lived next door and helped raise her. As a young adult, her mother, Doris, married former high school sweetheart, F.E. Howell, and "Teeler" treated Gypsy as his own.
Her mother said Gypsy was born loving all sorts of animals, especially horses. At the age of 3 1/2, her Papaw began walking her down to the local park to ride the ponies. She wanted to ride the ponies so often and was such a talent that the owner would only have Papaw pay for her first ride and let her ride as many others as she wanted for free. During her growing up years, she spent many days and nights involved in the local riding clubs in and around Pasadena.
In her mid twenties, she had two young children to provide for and made her love for horses into a profession when she became a cutting horse trainer for Suzanne Nelms at Mill Creek Farms in Brenham, Texas. After several years in Brenham, she started her own training business. She hung that shingle in Madisonville, Texas, and the "three musketeers" as she often referred to herself, Toni and Marcus, rented a home and stalls from Ronnie and Gala Nettles Cutting Horses.
Fellow horsemen and women kept telling her about this single "halter and western pleasure guy" that lived a few miles from her. After hearing about him for many months, she finally just drove up his driveway and introduced herself. Tim O'Neal truly was the love of her life for over 33 years. She jokingly says it was the best 31 years of her life.
They celebrated their love and their life with their three children, six grandchildren, and a brand new great-granddaughter. There children are daughter, Toni O'Neal, and her children Colt and Haley Sutterby and Miss Collins, Dylan and Kira O'Neal and Aubry O'Neal; Son, Marcus and Lari O'Neal, their children Macy, Brady, and Gage O'Neal; and son, Tyler and Marie O'Neal. Gypsy also had a half sister, Niki Rapattoni, and two step brothers, John and Raymond Howell.
When their youngest son was born, Gypsy stepped away from training and showing to raise Tyler. When he grew up and had his own business, Gypsy was able to show three of the horses he owned and prepared, winning world championship titles. One of her greatest joys was investing in her children.
In January 1999, after attending bible school together, Tim and Gypsy moved to Fort Scott, Kansas, and were the pastors of Faith Christian Church for 18 years. The only thing stronger than their love of family was their love of the Lord and their lifestyle exemplified that. They ministered internationally and were able to hold church services at many of the horse shows they competed at. In 2016, Tim and Gypsy relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, where they currently reside.
Gypsy's greatest hope was to hear "Well Done Thy Good and Faithful Servant" when her time on earth was complete. We know her hope became a reality.
Gypsy will be laid to rest in their family plot next to her mother, Mamaw and Papaw.