Johnny R. McConnell, 80, of South Fulton passed away Thursday, March 5, 2020, at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City.
Funeral services were held 2 p.m. Sunday at Hornbeak Funeral Chapel. Burial followed in Obion County Memorial Gardens.
Visitation was held from 5-8 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
The family requests memorials be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959.
A lifelong resident of Obion County, he was born in Troy on Jan. 24, 1940, to the late Raymond Clyde and Jane Margaret Prather McConnell. He began his life of accomplishments early with school and basketball. Troy’s teams were known in the day for grit and determination to win.
After high school, he began his college studies at the University of Tennessee at Martin, where he became the first graduate of the newly-formed school of business administration in August of 1962. There, he served as Business Club vice president, senior class vice president and honor roll member.
After graduation, he married Nancy Faulkner on Aug. 12, 1962, at Union City First United Methodist Church. They began a life together on a farm, while raising three children in their dream home they built in 1976. This same home later became a favorite place for their grandchildren.
A dedicated member of Fulton First United Methodist Church, he held many leadership positions over the years.
His career consisted of accounting and farming. Alongside his partner Jim Thompson, he practiced for over 50 years at Thompson-McConnell CPA in Union City. He took care of his clients, who he considered “family,” until health would no longer allow him to do so.
His hard work ethic spilled over into the family tradition of farming, which began with his grandfather and would include his father and his brother, Bobby. Now his sons and grandsons continue that tradition, living and serving in Obion County.
After tax season was over, he and his wife, Nancy, enjoyed many tropical island vacations. A long-standing tradition in the McConnell family was “Granddaddy” treating the entire family to a week-long vacation at Lake Barkley Lodge every Fourth of July.
In his spare time, he could be found at local car shows with his award-winning red, hard-top ’55 Chevy and his restored 1952 Farmall tractor that has been in the family since he and his brother began farming. He especially enjoyed spending time with his loving family.
In addition to his wife, Nancy, he is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Ty McConnell (Babette) and John Lane McConnell (Jennifer), all of South Fulton; a daughter, Nanette McConnell Harris (James) of Paducah, Ky.; seven grandchildren, Holden McConnell (Kari) of South Fulton, Clare Saum (Grant) of Athens, Ala., Ian Harris of Paducah, Prather Harris of Nashville, Maddie Harris of Paducah and John Grant McConnell and Jentry McConnell, both of South Fulton; two great-grandchildren, Cullen McConnell and Elsie Jo McConnell, both of South Fulton; and a sister-in-law, Peggy McConnell of South Fulton.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Bobby McConnell; and a great-grandson, Philip Ray McConnell.
Online tributes may be left at www.hornbeakfuneralchapel.com.