There is no footprint so small that it cannot leave an imprint on the world. Richard J. McConnell, Sr. was a kind, family man who understood the importance of two words, “Thank you.” Rich always had the wind at his back and needed it for that long drive when he was teeing off. He was present, reliable, and led by example of how to be fishers of men.
Rich wasn’t afraid of anything. He never complained because the sun always shined warm upon his face. On Monday, September 18, 2023, life changed, in his home, but had not ended. Fare thee well my boy! Rich was at the gates of Heaven a half hour before the Devil knew he was gone. We all want him to be remembered just as he was, the greatest!
Rich was born in Woodbury and had spent his early years as a Gloucester neighbor. He raised his family in Hi-Nella where he was an auxiliary member of the Hi-Nella Fire Co., Station 691. It was here he got to be “best friends” with Santa. Rich enjoyed his retired years at “McConnells By The Bay” in Egg Harbor Township and recently made his home in Haddon Twp. to be closer to his family. Rich graduated from Gloucester High School in 1953. He began his career at New Jersey Bell, which later became Verizon, in 1955. He started as a Craftsman and finished his career as a Write Away Agent, retiring after 37 ½ years. That half a year was important for the pension!
Rich was an avid golfer and always enjoyed his day, good or bad, on the links. He enjoyed fishing, crabbing, skiing, and long rides with his family on his boat, “The Mac-N-All”. He always looked forward to “Grandkid Fishing Day”. At home, Rich was a dedicated Eagles fan. He watched the games with no sound, trusting only Merrill Reese and Mike Quick to give him the play by play.
There’s an old Irish saying that goes like this, “May you only grow old in the face. Be treasured and cared for with grace.” Rich was cared for by Susan, who was fortunate enough to be his loving wife for 58 ½ years. That half a year was important for the pension! Rich is survived by his children, Cheryl & her husband Pat Colleluori, Linda & her husband Mike Missanelli, Sister Karen McConnell, F.M.I.H.M., Richard Jr. & his wife Lynn, and Lisa & her husband Stephen Cronin. Pop was the biggest fan of his grandchildren; Pat Jr., Daniel, Michael, Michael, Jaclyn, Declan, Matthew, Aidan, Meghan, Brenna, Payton, and 8 great-grandchildren. His grandchildren, Nicholas and Brynne, met him at the Pearly Gates. Waiting for him were his parents, Walt and Ruby, sister, Lois, and brother, Rob. He will be deeply missed by many special friends who have just become like family.
Relatives, friends, and neighbors are invited to gather with the McConnell family on Saturday morning. We’ll come together in tribute and thanksgiving between 10:00 am and 11:00 am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Gloucester where we will celebrate life through faith in a Memorial Mass that will begin at 11:00 am. Internment is private.
As an expression of sympathy and in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research www.michaeljfox.org P.O. Box 5014 Hagerstown, MD, 21741 or The Parkinson Council www.theparkinsoncouncil.org 12 W. Willow Grove Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19118.
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