Charles McConnell Jr.
1943 — 2013
WEBSTER — Dr. Charles Candler McConnell Jr. passed away Jan. 31, 2013, at his home in Webster. He was born Dec. 23, 1943, in Cullowhee, and was the eldest son of the late Charles Sr. and Lena Pressley McConnell. He graduated Cullowhee High School in 1962 and Western Carolina University in 1966, where he was a basketball player. He received masters’ degrees from Western Carolina University and Winthrop College in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He earned his doctorate in education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He was a teacher, coach, and administrator for over 30 years. He was the superintendent of schools in Haywood County from 1981 through 1991, when he returned home to Jackson County to be the superintendent of schools until his retirement in 1997. He was an active member and past president of the Sylva Rotary Club. As a Rotarian, he was the recipient of the Paul Harris Fellows Award. He served on the board of directors and was the chief fundraiser for Jackson Neighbors in Need. He was co-founder of the New Century Scholars program at Southwestern Community College. He was an active member and former deacon at the First Baptist Church of Sylva. Charles spent countless hours volunteering in his community with programs such as Meals on Wheels, and in 2012 he was awarded the Governor’s Medallion Award for Volunteer Service. He is a member of the Jackson County Athletic Hall of Fame. Charles enjoyed life, and some of his favorite things were playing practical jokes, spending time with friends, listening to gospel music, helping others, watching Tarheel basketball and playing with his grandchildren.
Charles is survived by his wife of 46 years, Ruth Morgan McConnell; his children, Greg McConnel, and wife Dorie, of Charlotte, Jeff McConnell, and wife, Michelle, of Charlotte, and Kristy Bullock, and husband, Troy, of Concord; six grandchildren, Julie, Garrison, Gavin, Kaylie, Jake and Lilly; a sister, Judy McConnell of Cullowhee; and a brother, Gene McConnell, and wife, Kathy, of Cullowhee.
Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, at First Baptist Church of Sylva, with the Revs. Jeff Mathis and Edward Beddingfield officiating. The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, at Appalachian Funeral Services. Burial will be in Fairview Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to Neighbors in Need/Mountain Projects, 25 S. Schulman St., Sylva, NC 28779; New Century Scholars, 447 College Dr., Sylva, NC 28779; or to the First Baptist Church of Sylva New Kitchen Fund, 669 West Main St., Sylva, NC 28779.
An online registry is available at www.appalachiafuneralservices.com.