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Rest in Peace, Mr. Connell

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Rest in Peace, Mr. Connell

ECHO Staff

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Alumnus and former Trinity teacher Mr. Jim Connell ’63 passed away this morning. The beloved art teacher had battled cancer for a number of years. 

Trinity President Dr. Rob Mullen described Jim as a generous, loyal friend with a wonderful sense of humor — “an excellent teacher, a proud alumnus, kind.”

May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, Rest in Peace.



Mr. Connell’s Trinity Hall of Fame plaque is inscribed with the following:  

Mr. Jim Connell ’63

A member of the Trinity Class of 1963, Jim Connell left a huge footprint during his time at Trinity High School. His quiet dignity left a permanent impact on thousands of young artists at Trinity, and his reach extends to the broader community, as he planted seeds that would flourish for many alumni who went on to fields in the art world and other related endeavors.

An Army veteran, Jim returned to Trinity in 1972, only a decade after graduating. He spent the next four decades in the pursuit of excellence in expressive arts. His extracurricular involvement included stints on Trinity’s accreditation teams, service on the Faculty Senate and other leadership activities, and senior Christian Awakening retreat work, where he was a leader on dozens of retreats.

Aside from Jim’s work with those various facets of Trinity, his imprint can be seen on traditions we still see today.

Jim’s work with students to create and produce the annual Art Calendar provided the opportunity for our community and the world at large to appreciate the work of his students. Jim served as a major consultant for the art and environment on Trinity’s campus. His design touches led the school to be recognized for its campus beauty and aesthetics. His involvement included the 2016 renovation of the W. Peter Flaig Library Media Center. Additionally, the annual Trinity Art Show will always have its roots shared with the efforts of Jim Connell.

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9 Responses to “Rest in Peace, Mr. Connell”

  1. Scott clark on February 5th, 2019 4:39 pm

    I will miss me Connell, he was my art teacher when I was at trinity. He was a great art teacher, I learned a lot from him. I even went and worked on tiling his bathroom way after I graduated.

  2. John Martin on February 5th, 2019 5:38 pm

    One of my all-time favorite teachers at Trinity. He was fair, fun and inspiring. Always looked forward to him and Father Moore. Respect and honor.

  3. Kathryn M. Barger on February 5th, 2019 6:11 pm

    It saddens me to hear the Jim died. He was my neighbor for almost ten years. I was always pleased to see him outside and knew a conversation would ensue. He was funny, thoughtful and determined. More than anything. I will miss him.

  4. Barbara Martin on February 5th, 2019 6:17 pm

    Such a wonderful, kind man and great teacher. So very sorry to hear this. Rest In Peace Mr. Connel .

  5. Curtis Webb on February 5th, 2019 6:54 pm

    When I went on my Sr retreat in 1981 I really didn’t know Jim real well. He ended up being one of the adult leaders during that retreat. For some reason or other Jim and I bonded during the retreat. I think he realized that I was needing someone and he stepped in and I am very thankful for that. At the end of the retreat it is a tradition, of some sort, for each leader to pick a student to give them their crucifix, which the adult leader has worn during the entire retreat. At the end Jim gave me his crucifix and that has been something I carry with me fore ever. After 38 years I still have that small crucifix hanging in my room and I think of Jim often when I look upon it. I have often wondered why Jim choose me to give that crucifix to me but I am very thankful for that small gift he gave me and I will carry it with me forever.

  6. Joe McNally on February 5th, 2019 7:54 pm

    RIP Mr. Connell. I think of you every time I pick up the pencil and sketch pad. I can still hear your laugh as if it were senior year.

  7. Renee Lawrence on February 6th, 2019 9:56 am

    Mr. Mc Connell made a lasting impression on both my sons, Andrew and Adam Lawremce. He was always so kind. I remember interacting with him at the annual art fair. He was always very warm and friendly. He was an exceptional teacher who cared greatly about his students. We are deeply saddened to learn of his passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all of the many students whom he mentored .

  8. Matt Jochim on February 6th, 2019 1:01 pm

    Jim was a a really great guy. A teacher who helped me learn — and believe in myself (so important in art). He was also just a really kind and decent person. The world was a better place with him in it, and today a little darker without him.
    Rest in peace Mr Connell.

  9. Tom Steinmetz on February 6th, 2019 3:47 pm

    I was involved with the art program at Trinty from 1982-84. I have a lot of fond memories of the class that Mr Connell ran, and the many projects that my classmates and I worked on through the years. Jim always had a wonderful sense of humor, but it was also apparent that he had a genuine concern for his students and how they were doing outside of the classroom as well as in. I wish I had kept in touch with him through the years as some of my classmates have. I think a great way for us to remember him would be to do something creative in his honor; anything – maybe a sketch, painting, even a simple doodle on a scrap of paper. Just to keep the memory of the art that he cherished with his students alive. May he rest easy in the arms of the Lord.

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