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STURBRIDGE – James H. MacConnell, 77, of Crescent Way, and Sarasota, FL, died Friday, February 6, 2009 at UMASS Hospital, after a long illness. He leaves his devoted wife of 53 years, Marilyn MacConnell; his children, Mark MacConnell, and his wife, Celene, of Southbridge, Kevin MacConnell, and his wife, Patricia, and their son, Jameson, of Sturbridge, and David MacConnell, and his children, Patrick and Lauren, of Marlborough, CT; several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister, Ruth Morin, and his brother, Robert MacConnell.
Mr. MacConnell was born on February 11, 1931, in Springfield, MA the son of the late Robert and Beatrice (Hurd) MacConnell. He grew up in Brimfield, graduating from the Hitchcock Free Academy. He joined the United States Air Force, serving during the Korean Conflict, as a Jet Mechanic Crew Chief, for four years. After residing for several years in Rolling Meadows, IL, and Des Plaines, IL, he moved, with his family, to Sturbridge. He spent the remainder of his life enjoying time between Sturbridge and Sarasota, FL.
Jim was an entrepreneur, starting several businesses, including the Colonial House Restaurant and the Bee Hive Lounge in Sturbridge. He was a real estate broker and developer and was the originator of the Sturbridge Hills Condominiums. He donated his time selflessly in the Sturbridge Community for many years. He was a founder of the Tantasqua Regional Youth (TRY) Soccer and a Coach, member of the Tantasqua Regional School District School Committee, a member of the Sturbridge Housing Authority, the first building inspector for the town of Sturbridge, as well as a building inspector for the town of Southbridge. He was a member of the Sturbridge Federated Church, the Hayloft Steppers, and was Chairman of the Republican Town Committee. In Sarasota, he was a greeter for many local theaters and a member of the North United Methodist Church.
Jim was a devoted husband and father, and his grandchildren were the highlight of his life. He was very generous with his love and time and always saw the good in people. He enjoyed Florida sunsets, flying planes, and traveling with his family. He also loved Red Sox games, and, at 17, hitchhiked to Fenway Park, to try out for the team. His hero was Ted Williams.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 1:00p.m., Monday, February 16, 2009, in the Sturbridge Federated Church, Main St., Sturbridge. Burial will be at a later date in Brimfield Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim’s name to, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute 10 Brookline Place West, 6th floor Brookline, MA 02445-7226
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Belanger-Bullard Funeral Home, 51 Marcy St., Southbridge is directing arrangements. A guestbook and video tribute for Jim are available at www.BelangerFuneralHome.com
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