In memory of
Arthur Weir McConnell "Art", 90 passed away quietly at home in Homewood, November 13, 2020. Art was born on February 5, 1930, in Pittsfield MA, as the first child to Douglass and Ruth McConnell. The family moved to Birmingham when he was 10 years old. He attended Shades Cahaba High School and excelled academically. He then went to Duke University, where he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. He was inducted into two academic honor societies at Duke, Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi. He was jokingly accused by his fraternity brothers of "collecting" Greek letters. He spent two years in the Navy during the Korean War and was the navigator on aircraft carrier based flights. He met his future wife of more than 60 years, Joanne Ellis while in California, and moved to Homewood in 1954. Art was a Professional Engineer at McConnell Sales and Engineering, serving as President for decades. McConnell Sales built the iconic Homewood Star that hangs above 20th street each holiday season. Art was very active in All Saints Episcopal Church and served on the vestry for many years. He was also active in civic clubs and became the national vice president of the National Exchange Club. He was inducted into the National Exchange Club Court of Honor in 2013, following decades of commitment to the organization. Art was one of only 90 people receiving that honor in the club's 100+ years. Family meant everything to Art, and he and Joanne had 4 children, Cheryl Lawson, Michael McConnell (Beatrice Files), Douglass McConnell (Sara Baldwin) and Melissa Vaughn (James). He had 5 grandchildren, Andrew McConnell (Katy Stokes), Carolyn McConnell Wright (Robert), Philip Lawson (Morgan), William Lawson (Amanda) and Katlyn Vaughn. Art also had 4 great grandchildren. We all loved family gatherings at his Homewood house, where Art grew up and continued to live for almost 70 years. Fourth of July and Christmas Eve parties were legendary, with family and friends gathering to enjoy Art and Joanne's warm hospitality. Art loved golf, travel, Alabama football, dancing with Joanne, and stamp collecting. He especially enjoyed attending National Exchange Club conventions with Joanne and often included a grandchild or two. Art's smile and genuine love of people brightened every room he entered. Art was predeceased by his parents, Douglass and Ruth, his wife Joanne, sister Hilda Yost, son-in-law Ron Lawson, and granddaughter Katlyn Vaughn. The family would like to acknowledge the extraordinary care and love extended to Art by the staff of Brookdale, Homewood, as well as by Pam Crenshaw, Beverly Carpenter, and Marlo McCoy. Due to this extraordinary time, there will be a memorial held in his honor at a later time. The family requests no flowers. Memorial donations may be made to All Saints Episcopal Church; Homewood, Alabama, or to the National Exchange Club.
View Full Obituary ›