Friday, July 6, 2007

Jane Cook McConnell

Jane Cook McConnell, Feb. 9, 1935, to June 26, 2007.

Mrs. McConnell died June 26, 2007, at the Selma Markowitz Care Center, operated by Hospice of Central Ohio.

She was born Feb. 9, 1935, in Michigan, to George Clifford Cook and Charlotte (Tyler) Cook.

A long-time part-time resident of Sun Valley, the memorial service for Mrs. McConnell, 72, of Granville, Ohio, was held June 29, at Swasey Chapel, with Dr. David Woodyard officiating.

Born and reared in Michigan, Mrs. McConnell first arrived to Licking County, Ohio, in 1952 as an entering student at Denison University. She graduated in 1956 as a psychology major. She and her husband returned permanently in 1960. Since that time, she was involved continuously in numerous community activities with emphasis on education and young people.

She served two terms on the Newark Board of Education. Mrs. McConnell served on the board of Moundbuilders Guidance for more than 10 years, six of those years as its president. She served for almost a decade as vice president and director of LEADS, the Licking County community action agency. She was a board member and president of Camp O'Bannon. She served on the Board of Trustees of Denison University.

McConnell's community service was honored by a number of organizations. She was in the first class of Women of Achievement honored by the YWCA. In 1992, she received an Alumni Citation from Denison. The Newark High School faculty and staff honored her with their Distinguished Service Award in 1993. She received the Everett D. Reese award from the Licking County Foundation in 2001. In 2003, she and her husband were the joint recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Licking Memorial Health Systems. The Granville Rotary Club presented Mrs. McConnell with its Service Above Self Award. Earlier this year, McConnell received the Maureen C. Grady Award for Special Achievement from the Ohio Association of Community Colleges.

McConnell's commitment to any organization or project with which she became involved was wholehearted and complete. Typical of this approach was her association with the Central Ohio Technical College and the Newark High School A Call to College program. In 1985, she was elected to the board of COTC. In 1991, she was elected president of the board. Although she was granted trustee emeritus status in 2002, her active involvement continued until her death.

So it was with A Call to College. As a co-founder with her good friend Lou Mitchell in 1991, McConnell devoted herself to building an organization that strives to ensure that no Newark High School graduate is denied a college education for lack of money.

From modest beginnings, she helped build a $5 million endowment that provides last-dollar grants of $1,000 per student per year. McConnell had chaired the board since its founding.

She is survived by her husband, William T. McConnell; daughter, Jennifer Wynne McConnell; and her son and daughter-in-law, William Gerald McConnell and Anna Louise Hillen, all of New York City; a brother, Julian Tyler Cook, of Waterford, Mich.; and one grandson, Duncan Hillen McConnell.

It is the desire of her family that memorial gifts be made to A Call to College, P.O. Box 4145, Newark, OH 43058-4145.

Henderson-Van Atta Funeral Service is assisting the family with arrangements.

An online memorial and guest book is available at

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