John James "Jim" McConnell 30 August 1930 — 24 July 2019
John James McConnell, known as "Jim" to friends and family, died Wednesday after a brief illness. He was 88 years old.
Jim was born in Radnor, W.Va. to Rightly L. McConnell and Norma Curnutte McConnell. He was the seventh of 10 children.
Jim met his wife, Bettye Jean Lycan, at a teen hangout in Fort Gay, W.Va. in 1950. They would marry about a year later. At the time, he was a member of a barbershop quartet called "The Available Four" and liked to jest that his wife derailed his dreams of musical stardom.
He loved his family, hard work, traditional country music and a good joke.
A resident of Cranesville since 1958, McConnell once managed a local farm supply store and later drove a school bus for nearly 25 years. He was a lifelong farmer who was most at home on a tractor, with his cattle or toiling about his barn. Later in life, he took up woodworking, even while battling an eye condition that robbed him of much of his vision, and remained committed to a steady diet of "Gunsmoke," "Bonanza" and Vienna sausages.
Jim is survived by his wife of 67 years and their children Toni McConnell Leslie (Tom), Rightley L. McConnell (Beverly), Chiquita McConnell Sweitzer (Randy) and James Goodwin "Butch" McConnell.
He will also be dearly missed by his 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, many of whom he gave nicknames that persisted through adulthood. The grandchildren include Korey Leslie (Michelle), Erin Leslie Belcher (John), Katie Leslie (Pepper), Rightley L. McConnell II (Mariya), Brooke McConnell Albright (Robert), William "W.T" Harless, Samantha Cook, Laina McConnell, Hilary McConnell Bright (Matthew) and Caleb McConnell. The great grandchildren include Giuliana Leslie, Brecken Albright, Rightley McConnell III, R.J. Harless and Coal Baker.
Jim was a beloved uncle to many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and nine siblings: Frank McConnell, Rightly McConnell, Russell McConnell, Joe McConnell, Flora White, Edna Stackpole, Edith Sharps, Marie Grieves and Lilly "Boots" Perry.
Family and friends will gather for a time of celebration at the Funeral Home on Saturday July 27, 2019 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Faith United Methodist Church, c/o Richard Gibson, 7241 Cranesville Road, Terra Alta, W.Va. 26764 or your charity of choice.
Condolences may be made at www.arthurwrightfuneralhome.com