Eugene Douglas Connell, Sr., “Gene”, 83 of Savannah, GA passed away peacefully Thursday, December 22nd holding the hands of his children.
Born June 19, 1934, in Spencer, NC, Gene was the son of the late Troy Grubb Wortham also from Spencer, NC. Gene graduated from Spencer High School, attended Fishburne Military Academy, Lenoir Rhyne University, and Davidson College – completing his textile engineering degree at North Carolina State University in 1959.
Gene began his career at Dan River Mills in Danville, VA and Cartex Mill in Salisbury, NC. He remained in the textile industry until he took early retirement from Celanese Corporation to do the things he loved – building houses and opening a barbeque restaurant. Always staying busy, he also worked in outside sales along the way.
Poppie, as he was called by his grandchildren and great granddaughter, was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend. His love of family, quick wit, infectious laugh, meticulous attention to detail, loyalty, and generosity was loved, is missed and will always be treasured.
Gene cherished his friendships from his many family moves from Spencer, Salisbury, Danville, Gastonia, Charlotte, Marietta, Clover and Savannah; enjoyed every sport imaginable – from attending ACC basketball tournaments, Clemson football games, and NASCAR races with his best buddy Gene Auten; and took great pride in his famous hot slaw – only recently sharing the secret recipe with his children and grandchildren.
Those left to cherish his memory are the love of his life – his wife of 60 years, Elizabeth Swaim Connell; daughters Kelly Connell Gasque and husband Michael Gene Gasque, and Susan Connell Galvin and husband Michael Jeffrey Galvin; son Eugene Douglas (Doug) Connell, Jr. and wife Angie Rogers Connell; grandchildren Rachel Connell, Morgan Connell, Ashley Wilkes, Alex Grayson, Sam Grayson, Spencer Gasque, Travis Gasque, Brendon Galvin, and Kyle Galvin; son-in-law Austin Wilkes, daughter-in-laws Nicole Grayson and Courtney Galvin, Spencer’s love Taylor Post and great granddaughter Lucy Kate Wilkes.
Poppie loved his family and treasured the time they all spent together. So to follow his wishes, there will be no service, rather a private family celebration. Well-wishers are encouraged to raise a glass of Early Times in his honor.
In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made in Gene’s memory to St. Joseph’s Hospital along with a special thank you to the 7th floor south nursing staff for their loving care and support of their dear friend, “Mr. Gene”. St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundation, 5356 Reynolds Street, Suite 400, Savannah, GA 31405, 912-819-8683
We will always all be together. We love and miss you Poppie.
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