James Valery Connell 87, of South Kansas City, Missouri passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife and family on March 27, 2006. A visitation will be at St. Thomas More Church, 11822 Holmes on Thursday March 30 from 5p.m. to 8p.m. Mass of Christian burial will be Friday March 31st at St. Thomas More Church at 10:30a.m. Burial immediately following at Mount Moriah Cemetery, 10507 Holmes.
Jim was born on July 3, 1918 to Esmond and Louise Connell in Luverne, Minnesota. His parents; three brothers, Hugh, Bryce and Keith and his two sisters-in-laws, Snick and Fern, preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, who he adored, Florence, his children and their spouses, Elliott and Marty, Keith and Bonnie, Kevin and Nancy, Connie and Kevin Fahey and his grandchildren Scott, Susan, Shannon, Jimmy and his wife Vanessa, Danny, Allison and her husband John, Andrew and his wife Courtney, Thomas, Carrie, Bryan, and Matthew. He also leaves eight great grandchildren who were the love of his life, Ashton, Hunter, Tyler, K.J., Robbie, Elizabeth, Annie and Aidan.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions be made to either Seton Center or Kansas City Hospice. Jim was a dedicated husband and father. He was proud to have attended the University of Notre Dame and even more proud to have completed his journalism education at the University of Missouri. He instilled the “Tiger” tradition in each one of his children and they carried it forward for him. He was a caring man known to many in his field as “Smiley”. As a Naval Officer from 1941-1946 serving in the Pacific Theatre during World War II he exhibited a true love for his country. He served our country, as did his three brothers when it was unheard of for four brothers to leave their family and go into service at the same time. A gifted journalist Jim worked for The Packer, a trade publication for fresh fruits and vegetables, beginning in 1947. He worked his way up the ranks becoming their Vice President and Publishing Director in 1969. Jim was honored by the National Produce Marketing Association for 35 years of dedicated service to the industry. He served as president of the National Agri-Marketing Association in 1976 and 1977 and was recognized in 1978 with the NAMA Achievement Award. He mentored many young collegiant writers and assisted several in finding employment through a program he developed at Vance Publishing Company. Jim retired from this field after over 45 years of a true commitment. Passion for his wife, family, job and religion drove him to always be the best he could be. He will be deeply missed by all.