Earl “George” McConnell, 87, of Hughesville, passed away Friday, January 20, 2023, at Bothwell Regional Health Center.
He was born March 22, 1935, in Aledo, IL, son of George Albert and Bernice (Baxter) McConnell.
In June 1956, he was married to Norma (Lewis) and together they had one daughter, Cheryl.
On November 29, 1996, in Hughesville, he married Sally Schoenthal in their home they built.
George was a graduate of Alexis, IL High School where he was captain of the football team.
He served in the United States Air Force for eight and a half years, where he was an aircraft mechanic and crew chief.
After his military service, he helped start the first Orscheln Farm and Home store in Sedalia.
To continue service to his country, he then began a 28-year career in civil service at Whiteman Air Force Base. He was the railroad conductor and quality assurance inspector of household goods, retiring in 1995 with 36 years of total service.
He was a former member of First Christian Church, where he was a deacon. He was currently a member of First United Methodist Church, where he was an usher.
George was a 50-year Mason, 50-year Scottish Rite, and 33
degree honorary white hat, of which he was very proud. He was past president of Granite Lodge 72 and Sedalia Lodge 36. He was also a member of the Moose Lodge and American Legion. At the Moose Lodge, he enjoyed running the Moose races.
His favorite pastime was fishing. He would do so year-round at Truman Lake and saved up his catch to host an annual fish fry for neighbors and friends. In his younger years, he also enjoyed hunting quail, deer and turkey.
George was a man of many talents and was self-taught and knowledgeable about many things. He enjoyed practicing old trades. He learned to tap maple trees for syrup and shared his harvest at the annual Easter breakfast at Georgetown United Methodist Church. He had his own apiary, was a gunsmith, and loved classic tractors. He also made apple cider out of a cider press for the Lord’s Acre Sale at Georgetown.
Surviving are his wife, Sally, of the home; three children, Cheryl Cordes (Charles), of Mora, Christopher Schoenthal (Cherie), of Montana, and Terry Schoenthal (Ashley), of Sedalia; nine grandchildren: Rachel, Jenna, Jacob, Jonathan, Matthew, Ali, C.J., Kadie and Shanda; and seven great-grandchildren: Jax, Meredith, Everett, Chantry, Kendall, Wyatt and Heidi.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and three siblings, James McConnell, Helen Chapman, and John McConnell.
A Masonic service will be held at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at First United Methodist Church on Thompson Boulevard, with visitation to follow until 9:00 p.m.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, January 26, 2023, at the church, with Rev. Candace Fowler and Rev. Kenny Cripe officiating.
Casket bearers will be Randy Schnakenberg, Glenn Powell, Cliff Long, Larry Welch, Bill Curry and Jacob Cordes.
Honorary bearers will be Jim Reid and Ellis Tilman.
Burial with military honors will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday at the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Higginsville.
Memorial contributions are suggested to First United Methodist Church or Meals on Wheels.
Arrangements are in the care of Heckart Funeral Home.