Richard Lloyd (Dick) Connell, 90, gained his heavenly reward on September 23, 2012 at Our Community Hospital in Scotland Neck, NC. He was born February 2, 1922 in New York, New York, son of the late Thomas Connell, Sr. and Ruth Lloyd Connell.
Dick spent his childhood years through high school in Lake Mahopac, NY, on his family’s farm. After high school, he worked for a short time as an apprentice in the plumbing business with his father in Portsmouth, VA, and then for the FBI in Washington, DC. He was an Army veteran, serving in the Quartermaster Corps in North Carolina from 1943 to 1945. He was a devoted husband to Margaret (Peggy) Anne Brown Connell for 35 years, and ever grieved her untimely death to cancer.
Education and music were Dick’s passions. He attended Albright College in Reading, PA, where he majored in Spanish and minored in music. He earned a Master of Education degree in 1967 and all but dissertation of Ph.D. in 1975. Phi Delta Kappa inducted Dick into its professional education fraternity in 1968.
Dick wrote musicals in Spanish in college and wrote instrumental, sacred, and lyric songs throughout his life. He was a masterful pianist and teacher, and trained in voice – a beautiful tenor. He was active in church endeavors as choir director and organist for several churches in Dover and New Castle, DE, and also sang in a touring madrigal choir.
Dick was a Spanish, English, and special education teacher and counselor in Delaware Public Schools for over 30 years, earning numerous excellence, merit, and appreciation awards. He was especially passionate about mainstreaming handicapped and special needs children into public schools and led implementation of Federal and Delaware state laws to that end. At the time of his retirement in 1984, he was considered an expert in his field, with many accomplishments and honors awarded. For the next 20 years, he served as consultant to Delaware Public Schools to further expand these programs. Due to declining health in recent years, he moved to an assisted living facility in Scotland Neck, NC.
Dick is survived by his brother, Thomas, of Royal Palm Beach, FL, and numerous nieces, nephews and their families. He was preceded in death by his wife, Peggy, in 1980, and by a brother, Harold G. Connell of Great Falls, MT in 2005.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 210 Old North Rd., Camden, DE on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 1 p.m. Friends may visit with family prior to the service. Inurnment will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Delaware Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Sussex County Shelter, 22918 Dupont Blvd., Georgetown, DE 19947.