Monday, January 11, 2010

John Connell, Rest in Peace

Today I was terribly shocked and saddened by the news that John Connell, my colleague and friend at Lakeland Community College, has passed away after his struggle with cancer. John was also known as John McConnell, and emigrated from County Cavan, Ireland to the Akron/Greater Cleveland area some 20 years ago. At Lakeland, John taught math courses and staffed the Math Lab. I guess I met him some time in the past 5 years or so. John probably noticed all the poems and photos of Ireland on my office door--and introduced himself to me. We had great fun talking about Irish history, culture, and music over the years. One time I got to meet his dear wife Marlene at Lakeland. I think Marlene is Slovenian. Whatever she is, she's the most Irish Slovenian in the history of the world! She loves Irish culture and music as much or more than native-born Irish.

John was an accomplished buttonbox musician, and could also handle a guitar with great skill. Besides his skill with instruments, John was a tremendous singer, with a sweet, sweet voice. I heard him and his band, Akron-based "Fergie and the Bog Dogs" play many times (

Here is a link to John's obituary:

What a sad day for John's family and friends! Let the gates of Heaven open for John!

Slán Abhaile agus Beannachtái, John!

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