John Dawson "Slim" McConnell
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John was born on August 15, 1946 and died on May 28, 2016. He was 69. John attended public schools at Bernard Terrace, Westdale and Baton Rough High; graduating in 1964. He received two bachelor's degrees from LSU. John was especially proud of his Eagle Scout achievement. John did his basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1971 and served in the Army Reserve. John began his teaching career with one year in Oconee County, Georgia. He moved back to Baton Rouge and taught at Brighton Academy and spent the rest of his teaching career with his fifth graders at the Baton Rouge Center of Visual and Performing Arts. Teaching fifth graders at BRCVPA was a career he thought he was created for. He loved his students and especially being involved in their learning. John's father, Francis McConnell was born in Brownsville, Miss, and died in 1966. John's mother, Marie Jackson McConnell was born in Baton Rouge and died here in 1962. With these deaths early in his life, his Aunt Juliet and Uncle John Lewis became his surrogate parents. His brother, Mcburnty lived only one day. John's cousins, South, Andy, Martha and Bob became his surrogate siblings. In 1990 he married Peggy and became a step-father to Rick and Cindy Perry. This added two grandchildren, Chris and Rikileigh. Chris married Amy and thus John became a great grandfather to Quinn Perry. John started a spiritual journey 26 years ago that changed his life, and brought Peggy and him to St. Albans Episcopal Chapel where they got involved in the campus ministry. There, they were involved with C.S. Lewis lunches during the school year with the LSU students. He loved this spiritual journey so much that he spent a lot of time sharing what he was experiencing with others. John opened his arms and his humor to anyone who stood before him. He had circle after circle of friends from every walk of life. Visitation will be Thursday, June 2, at Rabenhorst Funeral Home located at 825 Government Street from 6 PM until 8 PM. The funeral will be on Friday, June 3 at St. Alban's Chapel on Highland Road with visitation from 10 AM until the service at 11 AM. Graveside services will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be Mike McIndoe, Mike Glisson, Rich Johnson, Ben Peabody, Andy Lewis and Bob Lewis. Honorary pallbearer will be Charles Heard. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to St. Alban's Chapel. The family would like to thank the many friends of Bill Wilson who have been so supportive, both in presence at the hospital, and with feeding the family.

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Published in The Advocate from May 31 to Jun. 3, 2016.
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Memories & Condolences
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39 entries
May 25, 2019
I miss Johns sense of humor the most. We only talked occasionally after High School, but when we did John started every conversation with a joke.
Ben Odom
June 4, 2016
Mr. McConnell was my 5th grade teacher. For all of the five years I've been at BRCVPA I have seen his loving caring warming smile every morning and he would give the best hugs. My mom had drop us off at school early everyday and he would always be there with spongebob on the TV and a funny joke and the occasional Spanish lesson. He was such as blessing to be around and had the most amazing spirit. He will always and forever hold a place in heart and will always be my favorite teacher. He will never be forgotten. I am sorry for the loss and will pray for his wife and family.
Larissa Alexander
June 3, 2016
Ms. Peggy,
You and John have truly been a source of strength and encouragement to my family. I hope that we can return that sentiment during this time. I send prayers for all to have peaceful hearts and for beautiful memories to fill any voids of sadness. All of these messages serve as a wonderful testament to John's journey here on Earth.
Sarah Bates Paul
June 3, 2016
Every child has teachers who shape the adult they grow up to be, and Mr. McConnell was definitely one of these amazing individuals. From 5th Grade onwards, I have continued to apply the life skills learned in his class, and in my future career as an educator I hope to be as influential and beneficial as he was to his students. Thank you for everything, Mr. McConnell!
Aaron Bourgeois
June 3, 2016
Peggy, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. John was a great person. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Des Domio
June 2, 2016
Dear Peggy,
How blessed you were to have John as your husband. Please accept my deepest sympathy and love in his passing to His eternal home. I,ll always remember the first time I talked with John. He walked across the street to BRCVPA while we were beginning to prepare the school to reopen as the special magnet school that it has always been. Our conversation was magical; we connected on a spiritual note as well as professionals who had the greatest desire for student achievement. I told John that He would be the first person that I would hire, should a vacancy occur. Surely it was our Heavenly Father's Will for Him to be there, because a vacancy occurred immediately. As I visited His classroom on a regular basis, I was amazed at his incredible teaching skills. Students were totally immersed in the lessons - whatever they might have been. He exhibited such love and concern for his students, I actually felt His love for them, and their love for Him. He was truly one of the greatest success stories that I had as his principal, because I learned much from him as He stretched himself to be the very best that He could be. To me, He was John Boy and that is what I called him. I will remember Him forever as a true teacher - actually a techer's teacher and my very apecial friend. Actually, I had planned for him to be a pall bearer at my funeral, but He went to Heaven before time for me to go. May God bless you, Peggy and may He wrap His arms of love around you. May He give you the kind of peace that He alone can give. I am at St. James Place now and would love for you to come visit me. The words in this note are for your family,too. Please accept them with my deepest sincerity.
With my deepest love,
Julie McClendon Law
June 2, 2016
Mr.John was a very comforting and truthful man full of wisdom that was a blessing to me while on my journey. He will be greatly missed and appreciated Always. Mrs.Peggy, you've been and will countinue being in my prayers. I love you and I am here for you. Memories Cherish
Brandi Poche
June 2, 2016
Ask not how he died, but how did he live? John seems to have lived life to the fullest. As I read the guest book, I was struck with how he was a great teacher, friend, mentor, and Christian.As a human being, he imparted warmth and sincerity. I know you will miss him Peggy, but he is with God celebrating his life and how many people's lives he touched.
June 2, 2016
Prayers to Peggy and the family. John was a friend in school,and he will be missed. R.I.P. Slim; I know you're with the Lord now.No more pain.
Ben Odom
June 2, 2016
Mr. McConnell was such a great person. I didn't get to have him as my teacher, but everytime I walked by him on campus he was always smiling. Thank you for everything Mr. McConnell.
-Sarah Park and family( a former BRCVPA student/ family)
sarah park
June 2, 2016
John will always have a special place in our hearts. We have many fond memories of vacationing with he and Peggy in Costa Rica and loved their visit with us while working in Singapore. And many more good times together. God took him too soon and we don't understand all of that right now. We miss him. We will continue to keep
Him in our hearts.
Charlie and Joyce Monteilh
June 2, 2016
Our family is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mr. McConnell. He was a dedicated and inspirational teacher to our children at BRCVPA. We will remember him always with love.
Sharon and Brian Andrews
June 2, 2016
Mr. McConnell was, and remains, my favorite teacher. My own career as an educator is due in no small part to witnessing his passion for the work. My thoughts are with Miss Peggy and anyone else who was touched by his warmth and indelible spirit. Mr. M, wherever you are, I thank you for all you've done, and I will remember you always with love.
Hannah Andrews
June 2, 2016
Peggy you know that you have my deepest sympathy and that I am here for you whenever I can be of service. John was my best friend and one of the finest people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. I will miss him more that I can comprehend right now. He was my friend, my mentor and my inspiration. I know he is making friends in heaven right now!!!
Randy Robert
June 2, 2016
We will keep your family in our prayers.
Sorry for your loss,

Brielle Garner and Family(Mr. McConnell's student from BRCVPA)
Brielle Garner
June 2, 2016
I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot remember a time when I did not know John. Our families vacationed together in the 50s and those memories are precious. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. I am sure your memories are precious as well.
Lucy Waddell
Lucy Waddell
June 2, 2016
McConnell was my very special friend since high school. We shared many fun times together. He was a kind, gentle, selfless man. I loved him very much. Peggy I am always here for you. What a wonderful wife you were to McConnell, your best friend.
With peace, strength & comfort in Our Lord Jesus Christ and in His Love, Dana
Dana Barton
June 1, 2016
Dear Peggy, my heart breaks for your loss but what wonderful memories of Slim we shall always have-he was, by far, the kindest, funniest and most generous person I've ever had the joy to know! I'm so sorry that Jaime & I are out of town and will not be there for the services. We celebrate his life and are so fortunate to have called him our friend. Meri
Meri Bres Kolb
June 1, 2016
Peggy I am so sorry to hear of John's passing. He was such a sweet man. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Beckie and Steve Hariu
June 1, 2016
My condolences to Peggy, and all of dear Slim's friends and family. God Bless and keep you, you will never know how this kind man brought solace to me in times of anguish. There can be no counting of the people he influenced with his kind soul and gentle spirit.
Fred Parker
June 1, 2016
Our sincere condolences to Mrs. Peggy and the McConnell family. We are blessed to have met John and Peggy through a birding group and had the priveledge of experiencing some great field trips with them. John's character and sense of humor will be missed by all. God Bless and Rest in Peace my friend.
Rick and Karen Hoyt
June 1, 2016
Farewell to a friend of my youth. John was truly one of the great people you hope to meet during your life. Thanks for being a part of mine and Godspeed, old friend.
Jim Mitchell
June 1, 2016
Peggy,

You and John have been in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. John was so wonderful and will be missed by everyone who knew him. He will always be part of our CS Lewis team and family. We cannot be there Friday but are with you in spirit.

Lots of love,

Liz and Keith Pope
June 1, 2016
I went on many birding trips with John and Peggy. They were the most pleasant folks I knew. Sympathies to Peggy and the rest of the family.
Mike Musumeche
June 1, 2016
Slim McConnell was one of the funniest guys I've ever known. Met him up in Athens, GA where we swapped boasts about LSU and UGA. When he started on his spiritual journey he opened the same door for me. I owe Slim and Bill Simmons a lot for taking me to my first AA meeting. My condolences to Peggy and his close friends down in Baton Rouge. What a wonderful guy.
Barbara Allen
barbara allen
June 1, 2016
Slim will be missed, but fondly remembered. Slim touched the lives of many. Psalm 116:15 Precious in tge sight of the Lord is the death of Hus Godly ones (or His saints).
Sam and Lena Rollason
June 1, 2016
There are no words that can express my sorrow at the passing of John. He was a great person to know and be friends with. I met him and Peggy through a mutual birding club. I always looked forward to him coming to our Lafayette area because he was so much fun to talk to and be around. He will be greatly missed and I will pray for him.
Joseph G. Vallee
June 1, 2016
My Dear Friend, My Sponsor. You taught me so much while saying so little. You gave me a gift I can only hope to pass on to others. You truly made a difference in my life. My prayers are with you and your family.
Mike McIndoe
June 1, 2016
John and Peggy on birding field trip
A dear friend and wonderful gentleman. We in the birding community will remember the fun times we had with John.
Judith O'Neale
June 1, 2016
Mr. John was one of the first person we knew by name when we started attending St. Albans while at LSU. He was there early on Sundays making sure we, choir coffee addicts, had fresh hot coffee before rehersals. He was the first person we missed most when we moved away, so hearing of his passing is very sad, but we are certain that he is rejoicing with His Father. Prayers go out to his family and the St. Albans congregation who have lost a special man.
Alina and Marius Bahnean
June 1, 2016
A lot of great memories about a very good friend.
Mo Michelli
May 31, 2016
Our hearts and prayers go out to you & your family Peggy at this time of sorrow and loss. May Our Lord & God Bless each and every one of you with good memories of great times & May you rest in peace my dear friend, "John"...
Hawkeye & Patricia Clarke
May 31, 2016
John McConnell, you were a man I'll never forget. Undoubtedly one of the best teachers I ever had, and one of the best teachers BRCVPA will ever have. I still remember watching you walk home across the street after school. I'm so lucky you taught me 5th grade. I learned much more than just math, English, science, and social studies. Me and all of my friends talked about you for years. We all knew you as one of the most sincere, honorable, and humorous people around. Wish I could've talked to you again sooner. Your passing saddens me deeply. Your legacy will be remembered for my entire life. Thank you for touching my life. Much love and prayers to your entire family. God bless.
Lucas Denson
May 31, 2016
Mr. John will be remembered by always having a smiling face and servant heart. His heart was always focused on serving The Lord and his community. I will be forever thankful for his leadership and dedication to St. Albans chapel. He was a great friend, role model, and will be missed. Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Hannah Rothermel
May 31, 2016
God Bless our friend. You will not be forgotten.
Matt Thompson
May 31, 2016
Our sincerest condolences. John was a great Christian man. Whenever I think about St. Albans I can not help but think of John. May God be with Ms. Peggy and the whole McConnel family. We will be praying for you and your family.
Brian Spring
May 31, 2016
God Bless Peggy and family. We have all lost a very dear friend way too soon. John epitomized what sharing with others was all about. He gave of himself like no other. You will be remembered as one who loved life to the fullest.
Matt Thompson
May 31, 2016
I would like to extend my thoughts, prayers, and condolences to Mrs. Peggy and the rest of the McDonnell family. May GOD be with you'll during this difficult time!
Howard Carter
May 31, 2016
Peggy, I'm so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Praying for Cindy and Rick also. LOVE, Barbara Daniels
Barbara Daniels
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