Dr. Patricia O’Neill

Dr. Patricia O’Neill, R.N., M.D., FACS, aged 66, of both Brooklyn and Orient, N.Y., passed away unexpectedly along with her husband, Dr. Peter Smith, M.D., on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023.

Patricia was born on March 5, 1956, to Irene and Peter O’Neill in Brooklyn. Like her older sister, Kathleen, and her twin sister, Ann, Patricia graduated from Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Bay Ridge. The three sisters followed in their mother’s footsteps, each earning a nursing degree. Patricia graduated from Kings County Nursing School, earned an undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College and subsequently a medical degree from SUNY-Downstate Medical Center, where she graduated summa cum laude. While there, she completed her surgical residency and went on to complete her critical care fellowship at the University of Miami School of Medicine. 

Patricia began her career as a surgeon in the Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, ultimately becoming co-chief of the department in 1998. Patricia was currently serving as medical director of trauma, director of the surgical ICU and vice chair of surgery at Brookdale Hospital. She tirelessly served in a variety of leadership roles on surgical trauma and critical care committees for the health care systems of Kings County Hospital and Brookdale Hospital as well as the State of New York, New York City Police Department and the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Corps, all while receiving many awards and accolades throughout her distinguished and respected career.

Patricia remained deeply committed to the importance of educating, guiding and supporting scores of medical residents throughout her career. She was influential and admired, and because of her supervision there are many surgeons who will continue to carry out her principles, ethics and knowledge. Patricia’s work ethic and commitment to those in need, both locally and globally, will forever be respected, revered and mimicked. She leaves behind a legacy of teachings, publications and deep connections with those who are committed to surgery and critical care. 

Despite dedicating her life practicing, teaching and advancing medicine, Patricia, known as Pat, Trish or Tricia to her loved ones, was a devoted wife, loving sister and aunt, loyal friend, colleague and neighbor. She married her beloved husband, Peter Smith, M.D., and together they crafted a life where they successfully balanced their professions, family, friends, hobbies, service to others, faith and the time to create their own love story. Together, they called Brooklyn Heights their home and deeply enjoyed all it offered them. One of their greatest loves of all was their time spent together or with friends and family in Orient, enjoying the bucolic nature and peacefulness of the community. 

Patricia is survived by her twin sister, Ann Schneider; brothers-in-laws Gerard Mulholland and Ronald Schneider; and many loving nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her sister Kathleen Mulholland.

The family received visitors Feb. 23 at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck. Funeral services were held Feb. 24 at Our Lady of Good Counsel R.C. Church in Mattituck, with Monsignor Joseph W. Staudt officiating. Interment followed at Orient Central Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to Oysterponds Historical Society. 

This is a paid notice.