Traverse City Record-Eagle


July 17, 2013

Janilyn McConnell

TRAVERSE CITY — Janilyn S. McConnell, 80, of Traverse City, passed away peacefully on Sunday, July 14, 2013, at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City. Janilyn was born on Feb. 17, 1933, to the late Noel and Lois (Staton) Webber in Blackwell, Okla.

She married Lieutenant Merwin “Mac” H. McConnell on July 5, 1952. They recently observed their 61st anniversary.

Mr. McConnell’s work took him and Janilyn all over the world; they lived in London for several years and 12 years in Norway. One of Janilyn’s fondest memories was that she had the honor of christening the ship ‘Seaway Harrier’ that had been commissioned by Phillips Petroleum Norway, for which Merwin worked for 40 years.

Her greatest passion was music, and she expressed this in her work and service all her life as a singer, saxophone player in marching bands, on stage in musicals, music teacher in schools and director of choirs in churches and community.

In her youth she was an accomplished majorette who performed as high school and university majorette (Texas Star at UT).

Janilyn was a member of Kewadin United Methodist Church and for many years she directed the choir. Before she retired as a Deacon of the Methodist Church she also assisted the pastor with occasional sermons and other duties both in Kewadin and their international church in Norway.

Janilyn is survived by her husband, Merwin McConnell; two sons and a daughter, Paul (Heather) McConnell, of Lansing, Cheryl (Clive) Gissing, of Oxfordshire, England, and Richard McConnell, of Austin, Texas. Also surviving are four grandsons, Joshua Gissing, Christian Gissing, Chad McConnell and Dillon McConnell; two great-grandchildren, Tabitha Gissing and Casper Gissing; and one sister, Beverly (Ed) Moses, of Midland, Texas.

A memorial service honoring Janilyn will take place at 2 p.m. on Friday, July 19, 2013, at the Kewadin United Methodist Church, 7234 Cairn Hwy., Kewadin.

Memorial donations can be made to Kewadin Methodist Church.

Please feel free to share your memories with Janilyn’s family at

The family is being served by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.

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