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HomeNewsArchivesFormer Senator and Radio Personality George 'Bagoon' O'Reilly Dies

Former Senator and Radio Personality George 'Bagoon' O'Reilly Dies

Nov. 18, 2008 — Across the territory residents are mourning cultural icon George G. "Bagoon" O'Reilly, a Crucian Christmas Festival stalwart, former senator and radio personality who died Sunday on St. Croix at age 69.
Before his death, Festival organizers had decided to name the Christiansted Mini Village in his honor, a decision that still stands.
"He was a strong proponent for St. Croix, especially Christiansted," said Festival spokeswoman Melody Rames on Tuesday.
The opening ceremonies Dec. 4 will highlight O'Reilly's accomplishments and commitment to St. Croix. O'Reilly was also known for organizing a Festival-season breakfast held in Christiansted.
"The Crucian-Rican breakfast is going forward in honor of him and in the committee's effort to keep the tradition and Bagoon's spirit alive," said Lt. Gov. Gregory R. Francis said. "He will be sorely missed by all."
Gov. John deJongh Jr. said in a news release that he looks forward to joining St. Croix residents when O'Reilly is honored at the mini village opening ceremony.
"Bagoon was a popular radio personality and, over the years, developed a strong following of faithful listeners," deJongh said. "He had a knack for promoting the best for St. Croix. I will miss his promotion of St. Croix, his sense of humor, his love for Caribbean music and his ability to call out politicians when he thought it was necessary to get things done for the island of St. Croix, which he loved."
His program aired on WSTX. Former Lt. Gov. Gerard "Luz" James said O'Reilly called out the names of towns and islands across the Caribbean on his show, giving each location special attention.
"Trinidad, the Bahamas, Grove Place, Christiansted …," James said, listing just a few.
Francis recalled O'Reilly's love for calypso, his incredible sense of humor and his blistering criticisms of politicians of all stripes.
"No one was spared," Francis said. "Not even me. When there was something he thought we should know, he let us know."
James said he had a lot of respect for O'Reilly because "he pulled no punches."
Delegate Donna M. Christensen said O'Reilly brought his own unique Crucian cultural style to his radio programs, and was known as a tireless organizer of cultural events. O'Reilly organized the Virgin Islands- Eastern Caribbean Friendship Celebration observed in September, she said.
"He will be remembered for his sense of humor, his love of Caribbean music and his larger-than-life personality that made the rest of us remember to smile and enjoy life," Christensen said.
In addition to remembering O'Reilly for his cultural activities, James said O'Reilly served as his babysitter back in the late 1950s when James was a child. When James scampered off because he heard music playing, James said, O'Reilly would chase after him.
O'Reilly served in the Ninth Legislature, finishing the term of Lew Muckle, who died months after being sworn in. He worked at many businesses, from real estate to, in later years, greeting visitors and friends alike at the airport.
"We will truly miss Bagoon," Christensen said. "He made St. Croix a special place to live in."
He is survived by his daughters Jeniece, Arlene, Gislaine, Candice, and Shannah O'Reilly and Loreal O'Reilly-Smith. His sons are Orville, Kendel and Jay O'Reilly. He is also survived by brothers Alfred, Rudy, Burton, Raymond, and Wilburn O'Reilly as well as sisters Kay, Cyd, and Sherilynn Valarie O'Reilly, Marsha O'Reilly-Charles, Dinah O'Reilly-Payne and Floris O'Reilly-Williams. His step sister is Vesalee Brown.
Daughters-in-law are Maria Simmons-O'Reilly and Myra Hendricks. Sons-in-law are Scot Smith, Burnette Tutein and Reinhold A.E. John Jr. His uncles are Gustave Pelton and Leroy and Alton O'Reilly. Aunts are Alice Pelton-Krause and Hazel O'Reilly. He is also survived by aunt-in-laws Joyce and Clara O'Reilly. His grandchildren are Jeniecia and Burnell Tutein, George O'Reilly IV, Shaniece, Shyerene and Itahlee Henry, Rodney Stanley, Shamiyah Burke, Orville Jr., Oriana, Oreese and Oreisha O'Reilly, Kendel Jr. and Kendelle O'Reilly, Jay O'Reilly Jr., Ivan Jr., Tenynoi, Tenisha, Koi, Taheem, and Tevin Hansen, and O'Keshwa and O'Shayah John. His great grandchildren are Anayah and Amari Guadalupe, Te'John, Jeremiah Stanley and Za'Nae Cambran. His sisters-in-law are Paulette, Mae Agnes, Janice, and Magnolia O'Reilly. His brothers-in-law are Dr. Glenwood Charles, Leroy Payne, Raymond Williams Sr., and Eustace Roper.
He is also survived by special friends Maria Peterson, special cousin Annette O'Neal and nieces, nephews, relatives and special friends too numerous to mention.
The family requests that those attending the funeral service wear festive colors.
O'Reilly's body will lie in state at Government House on St. Croix from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday. A viewing will be held at 10:45 a.m. at the Lord God of Sabaoth Lutheran Church, with a service beginning at 11:45 a.m. Burial will follow at the Christiansted Cemetery.
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Nov. 18, 2008 -- Across the territory residents are mourning cultural icon George G. "Bagoon" O'Reilly, a Crucian Christmas Festival stalwart, former senator and radio personality who died Sunday on St. Croix at age 69.
Before his death, Festival organizers had decided to name the Christiansted Mini Village in his honor, a decision that still stands.
"He was a strong proponent for St. Croix, especially Christiansted," said Festival spokeswoman Melody Rames on Tuesday.
The opening ceremonies Dec. 4 will highlight O'Reilly's accomplishments and commitment to St. Croix. O'Reilly was also known for organizing a Festival-season breakfast held in Christiansted.
"The Crucian-Rican breakfast is going forward in honor of him and in the committee's effort to keep the tradition and Bagoon's spirit alive," said Lt. Gov. Gregory R. Francis said. "He will be sorely missed by all."
Gov. John deJongh Jr. said in a news release that he looks forward to joining St. Croix residents when O'Reilly is honored at the mini village opening ceremony.
"Bagoon was a popular radio personality and, over the years, developed a strong following of faithful listeners," deJongh said. "He had a knack for promoting the best for St. Croix. I will miss his promotion of St. Croix, his sense of humor, his love for Caribbean music and his ability to call out politicians when he thought it was necessary to get things done for the island of St. Croix, which he loved."
His program aired on WSTX. Former Lt. Gov. Gerard "Luz" James said O'Reilly called out the names of towns and islands across the Caribbean on his show, giving each location special attention.
"Trinidad, the Bahamas, Grove Place, Christiansted ...," James said, listing just a few.
Francis recalled O'Reilly's love for calypso, his incredible sense of humor and his blistering criticisms of politicians of all stripes.
"No one was spared," Francis said. "Not even me. When there was something he thought we should know, he let us know."
James said he had a lot of respect for O'Reilly because "he pulled no punches."
Delegate Donna M. Christensen said O'Reilly brought his own unique Crucian cultural style to his radio programs, and was known as a tireless organizer of cultural events. O'Reilly organized the Virgin Islands- Eastern Caribbean Friendship Celebration observed in September, she said.
"He will be remembered for his sense of humor, his love of Caribbean music and his larger-than-life personality that made the rest of us remember to smile and enjoy life," Christensen said.
In addition to remembering O'Reilly for his cultural activities, James said O'Reilly served as his babysitter back in the late 1950s when James was a child. When James scampered off because he heard music playing, James said, O'Reilly would chase after him.
O'Reilly served in the Ninth Legislature, finishing the term of Lew Muckle, who died months after being sworn in. He worked at many businesses, from real estate to, in later years, greeting visitors and friends alike at the airport.
"We will truly miss Bagoon," Christensen said. "He made St. Croix a special place to live in."
He is survived by his daughters Jeniece, Arlene, Gislaine, Candice, and Shannah O'Reilly and Loreal O'Reilly-Smith. His sons are Orville, Kendel and Jay O'Reilly. He is also survived by brothers Alfred, Rudy, Burton, Raymond, and Wilburn O'Reilly as well as sisters Kay, Cyd, and Sherilynn Valarie O'Reilly, Marsha O'Reilly-Charles, Dinah O'Reilly-Payne and Floris O'Reilly-Williams. His step sister is Vesalee Brown.
Daughters-in-law are Maria Simmons-O'Reilly and Myra Hendricks. Sons-in-law are Scot Smith, Burnette Tutein and Reinhold A.E. John Jr. His uncles are Gustave Pelton and Leroy and Alton O'Reilly. Aunts are Alice Pelton-Krause and Hazel O'Reilly. He is also survived by aunt-in-laws Joyce and Clara O'Reilly. His grandchildren are Jeniecia and Burnell Tutein, George O'Reilly IV, Shaniece, Shyerene and Itahlee Henry, Rodney Stanley, Shamiyah Burke, Orville Jr., Oriana, Oreese and Oreisha O'Reilly, Kendel Jr. and Kendelle O'Reilly, Jay O'Reilly Jr., Ivan Jr., Tenynoi, Tenisha, Koi, Taheem, and Tevin Hansen, and O'Keshwa and O'Shayah John. His great grandchildren are Anayah and Amari Guadalupe, Te'John, Jeremiah Stanley and Za'Nae Cambran. His sisters-in-law are Paulette, Mae Agnes, Janice, and Magnolia O'Reilly. His brothers-in-law are Dr. Glenwood Charles, Leroy Payne, Raymond Williams Sr., and Eustace Roper.
He is also survived by special friends Maria Peterson, special cousin Annette O'Neal and nieces, nephews, relatives and special friends too numerous to mention.
The family requests that those attending the funeral service wear festive colors.
O'Reilly's body will lie in state at Government House on St. Croix from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday. A viewing will be held at 10:45 a.m. at the Lord God of Sabaoth Lutheran Church, with a service beginning at 11:45 a.m. Burial will follow at the Christiansted Cemetery.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.