Alfred Howe Connellee, 92, resident of Millburn, passed from this earth February 8, 2014. He lived a long, blessed and fruitful life and will be sorely missed. He touched many lives and all are the better for it. He served his family, his country and his God faithfully in ways too many to list. He was proud but not arrogant, humble but not retiring, and he always thought of others first, even to the end.
Al was born on Jan. 12, 1922 to Helen Howe and Alfred C. Connellee. He graduated from Westfield High School and Virginia Tech and then in 1944 married his childhood sweetheart, Edith Johansen, and they were happily married until her passing in 2006.
He served in the US Navy in the Pacific theater during WWII, returned to NJ and began his long and distinguished career with Esso as a chemical engineer, then later managed various Exxon companies around the world, including Italy, Venezuela, Pakistan and Australia before finally ending his career as general manager of the Linden plant in which he began his career.
During his entire adult life, but especially after his retirement 30 years ago, Al served his community in many, many ways. He was active in the American Red Cross, honored as “Volunteer of the Year” in 1987. His work for the Millburn/Short Hills and Tri State United Way spanned many years and many positions. He served on committees of the local Board of Education, Health and Human Services Council, Short Hills Association and the Millburn Old Guard, for which he was president in 1996. He proudly marched annually in Millburn’s Memorial Day Parade and was the recipient of Millburn’s 2006 Patriot Award.
A lifelong avid gardener, Al especially loved to grow his own tomatoes from seed and shared his gardening knowledge with three generations of young people. He maintained his plot in the Community Garden, where he grew great Jersey tomatoes, green beans and raspberries, which he shared with his friends, neighbors and fellow parishioners.
Al was an active member of St. Stephens Episcopal church in Millburn, where he chaired the buildings committee for many years and he also provided starter funds for the very-popular St. Stephens preschool.
He is survived by his brother, William Connellee and wife Ann of South Carolina. He has four children: Edith Connellee and husband Bill Carnright of Vermont, Janet Wooten and husband Michael Wooten of Missouri, William Connellee and wife Robin of Tennessee, and Anne Devenny and husband Jack of Pennsylvania. He is also survived by six grandchildren: Christine Howe, Katara Myers, Donald Myers, Jeffrey Wooten, Catherine Wooten, and Stephen Connellee and six great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his wife, Edith and his sister Barbara Evans.
Funeral Services will be at St. Stephens Church Saturday, February 15 at 11:00 AM. Visitation will be at Bradley, Smith and Smith Funeral Home in Springfield on Friday, February 14, from 7 to 9 PM.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to St. Stephens Church or a charity of your choice.