In Memory

James F Connell - Class Of 1942

Connell, James F., Jr. Age 88 of Milwaukee, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends on December 22, 2012. Born February 8, 1924, dad was the son of Anita Reichert and James (Frank) Francis Connell. He attended St. Catherine's grade school, Washington High School and in 1943 joined theArmy Air Corps as a flight engineer during World War II. Honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant, dad began working for Wisconsin Telephone in 1946. He met our wonderful mother Gini (Virginia) at the Rustic Gardens and they married in 1952. He is survived by his wife of 61 years and his children Susan (Thomas) McShane, Beth (James) Connell Weiand and Jim (Cathie) Connell. Proud grandfather of Jim (Christina) and Matt (Shawana) Connell, Nick and Josh Weiand and Katie McShane. Great-grandfather to our newest family member, James Daniel Connell, born December 7, 2011. Dad leaves behind other relatives and friends (especially the "Rustic Crowd" and his rummaging buddy, Jim Spingola) and was predeceased by his brother Robert (and wife Delores) Connell. We were fortunate to have experienced a lifetime of laughs and memories with this very special man. The following letter of thanks is to Dad from his kids: Dear Dad .thank you for teaching us how to swim, ride a 2-wheeler and play killer badminton; for summer vacations in Manitowish Waters; for taking us trick or treating and to the fireworks; for being our Santa Claus, Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy; for demonstrating the importance of a solid work ethic; for putting in countless hours of overtime at Ma Bell to provide for us; for being able to fix anything and everything; for giant Saturday night sundaes with jimmies and a cherry; for annual trips to State Fair; for introducing us to Big Band/Dixie Land Jazz; for being a child of the depression and teaching us how to recycle and "be green" before it was fashionable; for instilling in us the belief that freedom is one of the few things worth dying for; for explaining the power of compounding early on; for making the best Manhattan in town; for being a good neighbor by shoveling tons of snow and cutting acres of grass for them; for being our midnight plumber, weekend carpenter and daily mechanic; for taking us to church every single Sunday; for babysitting our children and pets at a moment's notice; for always kissing us hello and goodbye; for being proud of our successes; for teaching us the value/fun of "rummaging"; for being a great joke teller and a good friend; for always, always being there when we needed you and most of all, for your tender care of mom as her Alzheimer's progressed over the past 8 years. And finally, thanks for getting to heaven first so you can put in a good word for the rest of us. With love, Sue, Beth and Jim. Dad was a Charter Member of St. Margaret Mary Parish and a Telephone Pioneer, retiring from Ameritech in 1985 after 39 years of service. As a WWII veteran he served in the North Africa Air Transport Command and was also a member of the Alonzo Cudworth Post. Visitation at the Funeral Home Thursday December 27, 11:00 AM - 12:45 PM with a funeral service at 1:00 PM. Burial with military honors to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, if desired, memorials to the Alonzo Cudworth Post No. 23 or the Veteran's organization of your choice would be appreciated. Our family would like to thank Dr. Varsha Shah along with Dr. Glenn Ragalie and his staff at the Zilber Family Hospice for their compassionate and tender care. We are also immensely grateful to dad's loving caregiver, Tammy, who did so much for him over the past 16 months.


Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on December 26, 2012