Mildred Louise Thompson McConnell
Mildred Louise Thompson McConnell, 94, of Fairmont, died at her home on January 13, 2021 with her sons at her side. She was born on September 18, 1926, the daughter of the late Harry D. and Mabel Cain Thompson. She was preceded in death by her husband of 43 years, Earl W. McConnell, Sr. in 1991. A graduate of East Fairmont High School and Fairmont State College, she belonged to Gamma Chi Chi sorority and was a majorette in the band where she met her future husband. Mrs. McConnell was an English teacher at both Fairmont Senior High School and East Fairmont High School. In their earliest collaboration through the 1950s, with her husband as Director of the Polar Bear Band, she imagined the trendsetting design on a new majorette uniform that exchanged the traditional skirt for sleek military shorts which became the standard throughout northern West Virginia. At East Fairmont High School in the late 1960s, Mrs. McConnell created the Honeybees, thus the alliterative moniker “Busy Bee Band & Honeybees” was born and has endured for over 50 years. Mr. and Mrs. McConnell continued as creative partners with Mrs. McConnell serving as Choreographer of the Honeybees for 25 years. They enjoyed a lifetime of travel to New York City to view the latest Broadway shows and the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes where they would often look for costuming and new dance steps for “my girls.” Mrs. McConnell was a Methodist by faith, belonged to First United Methodist Church in earlier years and later attended Central United Methodist Church. She was an officer and active member of Bo Con for several years. Mrs. McConnell is survived by her sons and daughter-in-law, Earl W. McConnell and his wife, Martha, and Patrick T. McConnell. Also surviving are her granddaughter, Kathryn L. Lake and her husband, Matthew; her brother, Robert Thompson; as well as nephews Mark Thompson, Jack McConnell and Lynn McConnell, and nieces Lynn Talbert, Marsha Thompson, Janet Floyd and their families. In addition to her parents and her husband, she was preceded in death by two granddaughters, Emily and Caroline, her sister-in-law, Nancy Lee Thompson, brothers- in-law, Lorraine McConnell and Jack McConnell and her mother and father-in-law, Lawrence and Hazel McConnell. Due to COVID-19, a private service will be held for the family with Rev. D.D Meghan officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial donations may be made to the Food Pantry at Central United Methodist Church, 301 Fairmont Av, Fairmont, WV 26554 or the Union Mission, 107 Jefferson St, Fairmont, WV 26554. The family would like to sincerely thank her Henry Drive neighbors for their loving support these last years, Charlotte Lawler who assisted her for many years and Crystal Riffle, in addition to the staff of WV Caring, especially her wonderful nurse, Louise. The family has entrusted arrangements to the Ford Funeral Home, 201 Columbia St, Fairmont, WV. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.fordfuneralhomes.com.
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