Esther Jean Connell

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Funeral services for Mrs. Esther Jean Connell, 78, of Spencer, will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, at Grace United Methodist Church in Spencer. Rev. Chuck Kellogg will officiate the service.

Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. Friday with the family present from 6-8 p.m. at the Warner Funeral Home in Spencer.

Interment will take place in Riverside Cemetery in Spencer.

Mrs. Connell passed away at the Spencer Hospital on Aug. 30, 2010, after a courageous 10-year battle with cancer.

Esther was born May 14, 1932, in Jackson County, Minn., to Russell F. and Dagmar (Bak) DeLong. They moved to Iowa in 1938 and she started country school in Dickinson County. Esther graduated from Spirit Lake High School in 1950 and worked at the Northwestern Light and Power Company. She later worked as deputy clerk of court in Dickinson County for two years. Esther worked at the North Y Livestock Auction for 25 years, sometimes working at both auction barns in Spencer. On April 2, 1956, she married Lawrence H. Connell at Nashua, Iowa, in the Little Brown Church. Esther and Larry had lived in Spencer all their married lives. To this union, three children were born: Craig, David and Lauri. While the children were in school, Esther was involved in PTA, Cub Scouts, and Sunday and Bible school. Esther was an avid reader, an active genealogist, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and served on the Library Board of Trustees from 1984 to 2010. As a genealogist, she found members of both her and Larry's families in Europe and the family has made numerous trips to visit these relatives in Europe, several taking place in the past 10 years with two of her children. As a result, relatives from Denmark and Germany have also visited Esther, Larry, and their famiies in the U.S., and wonderful friendships and bonds have been formed with family from afar due to her love for geneology.

Esther is survived by her husband, Lawrence (Larry) of Spencer; children: Craig Connell (Jill) of Lenexa, Kansas, David Connell of Guttenberg, Iowa, Lauri Connell Cullen (Gary) of Luxemburg, Wis., and stepdaughter, Debbie (John) Lackey of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. There are seven grandchildren: Ben (Amanda) Connell, Nick Connell, Chris Connell, Patrick Connell, Matthew Connell, Katherine Connell and Samuel Connell Thorne. There are two brothers also surviving: Russell (Danny) DeLong of Milford and Steven (Jan) DeLong of Mason City. She is also survived by a sister-in-law, Esther (Dean) McSpadden of Austin, Texas; and nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

The family would like to give a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Dvorak, Dr. Rao (Esther always said "I love that woman!"), and the rest of the staff at the Abben Cancer Center for their care, support, and friendship. In lieu of flowers, Esther requested memorial donations be made to the Abben Cancer Center in Spencer or the Iowa Lakes Geneology Society.

Warner Funeral Home in Spencer is in charge of arrangements.