Thomas Marr Connell II


U.S. Veteran
Thomas Marr Connell II, son of Clyde Thomas Connell and Jeanne Meske Connell was born May 15, 1950, in Bay City, Michigan. He somehow graduated from Michigan State University after a circuitous path, culminating in a creative, unique, and personalized degree in 1973, and shortly after joined the Air Force on a dare from his father-in-law. After serving in an active-duty capacity in the Air Force as a fighter pilot and WSO (weapons system operator), he retired and began his post-military career with Hughes Aviation followed by Raytheon. All of this allowed him to pursue his lifelong passions of flight, adventure, and travel to several continents and countries, some of which he narrowly escaped.

He forged deep friendships in all of his endeavors. He met lifelong friends CMAC during his time with the Grizzlies 196 TFS (his California flight Squadron), Grumpy at Hughes (and Arizona neighbor), both with whom he shared many professional and family experiences and all the vagabonds, wanderers, and fellow explorers from California, Oregon, Iceland, Spain, Turkey, Korea, Hong Kong, Baja and beyond.

In addition to his love of flying, he was an avid fisherman and outdoorsman. He was always up for an adventure. He loved good food, good music, and good conversations with interesting people.

He was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his sons Douglas Connell and Gregory Connell, granddaughters Peyton Connell and Harper Connell, siblings Julie Puttmann, Anne (Doug) Bentall, Bruce Connell, Barbara (Roger) Timm, as well as beloved nieces Heather (Michael) Lybrand, Stacy Connell, niece Kate Woods, nephews Matthew (Elena) Woods and Jason (Tiffany Connell), a special great niece Caroline Lybrand and many close friends and loved ones.

He was a great man and did not suffer fools easily. Without pretense or affection, Thomas Marr Connell II demonstrated and nurtured what is known as “élan vital”: that to exist is to change, to change is to mature, and to mature is to go on endlessly creating oneself. He viewed and participated in “life as a self-creating movement striving to liberate itself from the constraints of matter, which represented the opposite movement of self-destruction”.

He is not gone if you remember him. Knowing Tom: dad, brother, uncle, grandfather, friend, how could you forget him?

A celebration of life will be held in his honor at a later date. A memorial visitation will be held Sunday, January 21, 2024, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at Texarkana Funeral Home, 3515 Texas Boulevard, Texarkana, Texas.

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