Archibald Richardson Connell Jr.
January 23, 1924 – January 9, 2019
Archie R. Connell Jr. was born January 23, 1924 on Jackson Street in Harlingen, TX.
Archie was called home on January 9, 2019. He was 94 years old. He spent the last weeks of his life at Golden Palms and Harlingen Nursing Center.
His family moved from Harlingen to Corpus Christi in 1941. He graduated from Corpus Christi Sundeene High School at midterm and joined the United States Army/Air Force. He was stationed in London England and on D-Day, he loaded bombs for 18 hours. He was an airplane electrical engineer specializing in WW II aircraft. While in the service, he was awarded the Air Force Certificate of Merit. The recognition was for inventing a portable electrical testing cart. With this test cart airplanes did not have to wait to be rolled into the hanger, which allowed them to be tested, repaired, and put back into service much quicker.
In 1947, he met the love of his life Deloria Smith Connell at a VFW dance. They quickly fell in love and were married December 2, 1949. Prior to their marriage, Archie used his building skills to build a beautiful home on Glenmore Street. On December 2, 2018, Archie and Deloria celebrated 69 years of marriage. To those who witnessed their partnership it is so obvious how much they truly loved and adored each other and always demonstrated mutual respect, love, and laughter.
In 1959, Archie moved his family back to Harlingen to be in partnership with his brother Milton Connell who owned Tex-Steel Corporation by the Harlingen Airport until his retirement in 1981.
He is preceded in death by his parents Archibald Richardson Connell Sr. and Ethel May Connell, his father-in-law and mother-in-law Stanley Smith and Agnes Haas Smith, his brother Milton Connell, sister-in-law Mary Opal Connell, his son-in-law James Michael Wiggins, and his youngest daughter Leslie Ann Connell (age 11 – 1969).
Archie is survived by his loving and devoted wife Deloria Connell, his daughter Sarah Lynn Stensland (Albert), his daughter Patricia Gaylene Wiggins, his grandchildren Marcy Ann Remsburg (Charles), Kelly Christine Connell McMahon (James), Andrew Joshua Stensland, and James Richardson Wiggins (Meghan Elyse).
He is also survived by great grandchildren Ben and Mia Remsburg, Allison and Kendall McMahon, and his niece Debra Connell Skipper (Wayne).
In life, family is not only defined by blood; his chosen adopted family included Leland and Gaynell Williams, Stephen Williams, Randy Williams, and Kimberly Williams Beaver. Additional chosen family includes Wally and Minnie Garza, Rita Rosset, as well as special bonds with Fred and Leti Garcia.
Also included in our admiration is Dr. Oorjitham of Harlingen Family Practice and his caring staff: Maribel, Lenore, and Maria. Dr. Oorjitham and staff have been loving and faithful friends to our family for 25 years not only as our medical doctor but also as a source of great spiritual strength.
Archie volunteered at the Harlingen Police Department for over 25 years. His favorite volunteer work was helping in the maintenance of police cars. He could hardly wait for Mondays because he was going to work alongside the men and women he admired and loved so very much. Many officers looked up to Archie as a mentor and for high ethical standards.
Archie and Deloria have been faithful and loyal members of Wesley Methodist Church since 1959. Archie served on many many committees such as finance and building funds. Archie was a Wesley Methodist Boy Scout Leader for many years. There is a church pew and stained glass window in memory of their daughter Leslie Ann Connell.
Archie loved fishing and hunting and took great joy in teaching kids about conservation and other life skills. Archie had such an analytical mind and he could build or fix anything. Archie was happiest when he had his family at the hunting lease or at the Arroyo.
Among the countless qualities, Archie will best be remembered for his high ethics, being a hard worker, calm and kind demeanor, being a loyal friend and confidant, but most of all he will be remembered for being the best daddy, grandfather, husband, and protector. His life revolved around family, friends, and God.
The outpouring of love testifies to the reach of influence that Archie’s life had on others. Archie was the best man most of us will ever have in our lives.
Visitation will be at Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home on Sunday, January 13, 2019 at 710 N. Ed Carey Drive in Harlingen; family will receive visitors from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Funeral services will be held at Wesley Methodist Church on Monday January 14, 2019 at 1406 E. Austin Ave. in Harlingen at 10:00 a.m. Burial to follow at Mont Meta Memorial Park in San Benito.
Pallbearers will be James Richardson Wiggins, Andrew Joshua Stensland, James McMahon, Charles Remsburg, Stephen Williams, and Randy Williams. Honorary pallbearers are Harlingen Police Department Staff, Deputy Chief Miryam Anderson, Commander Alfredo Alvear, and Officer Juan Carlos Garcia, as well as Fred Garcia and Wally Garza.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Harlingen Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association in care of Francis Pena located at 1018 Fairpark Blvd, Harlingen, TX 78550 or the Harlingen Humane Society located at 1106 Markowksy Ave, Harlingen, TX 78550.