Laura Mae Hays McConnell, 95, passed away with her family by her side January 15, 2020. Laura was born April 13, 1924 in Pittsburgh, PA to Wesley Edwin Hays and Myrtle Cecelia Keely Hays.
She was a proud graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, class of 1946, and an avid fan of their Pitt Panthers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Pittsburgh area native pro golfer Arnold Palmer. Laura’s mother passed away when Laura was just sixteen, but she instilled in Laura the virtue of being nice to people and following the Golden Rule of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” She was close to her Aunt Marian and her cousins and developed lifelong friendships, some dating back to kindergarten. Laura was the wife of James Kenneth McConnell, Jr. and together they had 6 children, 13 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren with two more on the way and family dog members Cindy, Trixie, Ruby and Duchess, the last of her much loved dogs.
She and Jim enjoyed playing golf and traveling the world for business and pleasure. He regularly gave her bouquets of white roses, the flower of his Sigma Chi Fraternity. She had an extensive collection of souvenir spoons from her travels and a sizable collection of frog figurines. Jim’s career took them away from Pittsburgh in 1950 to New Martinsville, WV; New Cumberland, PA; North Plainfield, NJ; Franklin Township, NJ; Emmaus, PA; Green Bay, WI; Bethlehem, PA; Bridgewater, NJ; Wilton, CT; Franklin, TN and then retirement in Boca Raton, FL. They enjoyed 55 years of marriage until his death in 2002, after which she moved back to Bethlehem, PA to be closer to her children and spent her later years living with her daughter Irene in Mount Pocono, PA and her daughter Kathy in Ridgefield, CT. She enjoyed reading, doing daily crossword puzzles, playing double solitaire card games and words with friends.
In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her eldest child, James K. McConnell III and his wife Patricia A. Greening McConnell, and Doug’s wife, Yvonne McConnell.
Left to cherish and remember her are children Kathleen Mae Graham, Douglas Edward McConnell, Donna Lynn Sanford (Steven), Irene Ann Fennell (Gary) and William Wesley McConnell; grandchildren, James K. McConnell IV, Kelly McConnell, Kimberly McConnell, Matthew Graham, Kimberly Graham Chu (Jae), Beth Graham Lighthouse (Greg), Jerry McConnell (Lynette), Crystal McConnell, Timothy Sanford (Stephanie), Brett Sanford, Lindsay Fennell Sprovkin (Joseph), Benjamin Fennell and Rachael McConnell Holmes (Zachary); great grandchildren, Kaitlyn McConnell, Max McConnell, Liam Lighthouse, Mila Lighthouse, Noah Chu, Morgan McConnell, Jenna McConnell, Alysa Kutz, and Patricia Holmes.
A private celebration of her life is being held for her family. Her final resting place will be with her husband at Boca Raton Mausoleum in Boca Raton, Florida. Rather than flowers, those wishing to celebrate her life are encouraged to donate to a favorite animal shelter in memory of her
Laura enjoyed reminiscing about what she called her “happy and full life” with the many family and friends that visited her during her last weeks. The family is thankful for the wonderful care that was given to her in her final months by Danbury Hospital, RVNAhealth and Ridge Crest at Meadow Ridge. We are grateful for all the doctors, nurses, aides, and staff at each of these places. It is impossible to name all of them as each of them treated our Mom with loving, and respectful care.
424 E. 92nd St, New York NY 10128-6804
Danbury Animal Wellfare Society
147 Grassy Plain St, Bethel CT 06801
P.O. Box 383, Larchmont NY 10538
45 South St, Ridgefield CT 06877