James V. Connell Sr., 93, of Camillus, passed away Monday. Jim was born in Newark, NJ, son of the late Vincent and Elizabeth Connell. Jim graduated from St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, NJ, attended St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe, PA and graduated from Penn State University. After marrying his wife, Patricia Meehan, in 1954, Jim and Pat moved to Syracuse where he went to work for Sylvania. In addition to his position at Sylvania, Jim also owned and operated a popular Mister Softee franchise. In 1961, he began his long career in financial services and moved into business for himself, offering his clients an endless list of companies for their personal insurance coverages and investments. Jim was one of the founding members of the Camillus Rotary Club, helped fund raise to build Holy Family School and worked on the capital campaigns for Holy Family Church. He and Pat were involved with many groups at Holy Family Church as they hosted Bible studies, mentored engaged couples and were Eucharistic Ministers just to name a few. In his professional career, Jim held distinctions of a Certified Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and was a member of the Million Dollar Round Table. He was awarded the Society of Financial Service Professionals Distinguished Service Award, as well as the Camillus Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year. His son, Jim Connell Jr., and his daughter, Karen Connell Wheeler, continue his successful business legacy. Jim was a devout follower of all things Penn State. He loved his Nittany Lions! Jim also enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren play on their high school and college sports teams or perform in their musical or dance productions.
Jim is predeceased by his wife of 50 years, Patricia; his daughters, Barbara Connell Knight and Susan Connell; his grandson, Zachary Knight; and his daughter-in-law, Jennifer Grady Connell.
Jim is survived by his daughter, Karen Connell Wheeler of Syracuse; son, James V. Connell Jr. of Syracuse; granddaughters, Katie and Haley Knight, Casey and Emily Wheeler, Jordan and Allison Connell; grandson, Matthew Connell; sons-in-law, Jerry (Sue) Knight of Severna Park, MD and Christopher Wheeler of Ontario, NY; brother, Jack (Christina) Connell of Parsippany, NJ; brothers-in-law, Joseph (Diane) Meehan of Fort Lee, NJ, Daniel (June) Meehan of Morristown, NJ, and Robert Lockwood of New City, NY; and many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends may call Thursday, January 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Buranich Funeral Home, 5431 W. Genesee St., Camillus. Face masks are required.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, January 28 at 12:30 p.m. in Holy Family Church, 127 Chapel Dr., Syracuse. Jim will be laid to rest in Maplewood Cemetery, Camillus in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Holy Family School, 130 Chapel Dr., Syracuse, NY 13219.