Funeral services for James Willard McConnell were held at 10 a.m. today (Monday, Dec. 30, 2013) at First United Methodist Church in Minden. Officiating were Rev. James McConnell and Rev. Terry Love. Interment followed at Gardens of Memory in Minden under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home. The family received friends from 9 a.m. until service time Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 at the church.
Jim was born in Charleston, Arkansas, on Nov. 20, 1917 and entered into rest Dec. 27, 2013 in Minden. He grew up on a farm with three siblings, going to school and church in a horse and buggy.
When he was 11 years old, his family moved to Houston, Texas. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from North Texas State Teachers College in 1943 and with a Masters degree in Music Education in 1947. He retired from Houston Independent Schools after 38 years then became president of the Houston Association of Retired Teachers and his local AARP chapter.
Jim's wife and family were the delight of his life and music was the air that he breathed. He was a church choir director in the Houston area for 35 years and an active member and president of the Fidelis Sunday School Class at First United Methodist Church-Houston, Texas. He loved playing the piano, banjo and singing. He also wrote and published arrangements of several hymns throughout the years. His hobbies included woodworking, writing poetry, cooking, painting, reading and astronomy, were wide-ranging and varied, evidence of his passion for life and thirst for knowledge. He combined his seemingly disparate interests as only a Renaissance man could—building his own harp, harpsichord and telescope.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Homer McConnell; two brothers, Harry Robert McConnell and Edgar Milus McConnell; a sister, Jessie Elizabeth McConnell; and his daughter, Carol McConnell Love.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Edith Lois Nicoll McConnell; his daughter, Gayle McConnell Cabaniss (Fred); and his son, Dr. John McConnell (Roberta).
He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Dr. Andrew Love, Dr. James Love (Amy), Molly Love Vance (Patrick), Catherine Cabaniss Smart (Jack), Laura Cabaniss Pou (John Gray), Kelsey McConnell Bissell (Jack) and Mallory McConnell MacIsaac (Corey). He was a great-grandfather to Ben Vance, Will Vance, Mary Catherine Smart, Virginia Smart, Adeline Love, Carolann Love, Jack Pou and Kate Pou.
Pallbearers were Andrew Love, Chris Merritt, James Love, Patrick Vance, John Gray Pou, Jack Smart, Harold G. Nicoll, Jack Bissell, Corey MacIsaac and Kurt Evans.
In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial to: Willow River Farm (an extension of The Center for the Retarded), P.O. Box 450, San Felipe, TX 77473.
We want to extend a very special thank you to Town and Country Nursing Home and to Gamble Hospice Care.