MT. CARROLL – Venita L McConnel of Mt. Carroll and formerly of Wauconda, IL beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother passed away Monday, October 14, 2019, at Mercy One Hospital in Clinton, Iowa.
Venita had a uniquely large and productive life. In her early years she was a concert Pianist who along with her father playing the violin competed and won Indiana State Amateur duets two years she also competed solo winning several state awards and a national as well.
She met the love of her life at the Servicemen’s Center where her and John quickly developed a love that lasted over 65 years. They were married on April 4th, 1954 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Venita was instrumental in helping to break the glass ceiling of women being allowed in upper management.
She was Vice President of Reliance Laboratory Glassworks, an international company for many years. Venita was also the Business Administrator at University of Health Science/Chicago Medical School for many years.
She was very active in Republican politics in Lake County and Carroll County. Her political career spanned more than 60 years and included being Wauconda Village clerk for 13 years, Precinct Committeeman for over 30 years, and Campaign manager for dozens of local, county, and state campaigns.
Venita never charged for her services, she always said she did it from her heart. That exemplified Venita’s life.
A small sampling of her many awards and honors include: National Republican Award, Washington DC; Lake County Republican Organization for being County Candidate for National Award 1994; Lake County Republican party Bob Milton Award; Heart Association for her fundraising efforts; Listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who of American Business Women; Received recognition award for Community Services from Illinois House of Representatives 1995; Illinois Top Woman Republican award; Received a “Venita McConnel Day in Illinois Award” from the Governor in 1999.
Venita has been active in Carroll County since 1999 where she had served as Republican Committeeman, President of Carroll County Republican Women (twice).
She served on the Executive Lake County Republican Party Cabinet for 10 years and was a member of Hospice Board for North Eastern Illinois and a Charter member of FISH Organization in Wauconda.
She was also a member of Wauconda Chamber of Commerce, Lioness, Lake Zurich Chamber of Commerce Women’s Club, Kiwanis and Wauconda Township Republican Club where she served as President many times.
She was appointed by the Lake County Board to serve on the Lake County Community Development Commission and appointed by Congressman Phil Crane to be President of the 8th Congressional Organization for 10 years. She was also a member of the Navy League of the US.
Venita was also very active in the churches she belonged to in the various areas she lived, most recently at the First Baptist Church in Mt Carroll where she was Church Secretary for years.
What was most remarkable about Venita L. McConnel was her tireless spirit, her honesty, humbleness, compassion (especially for the underdog), and her love for people and life.
Venita is survived by her loving husband of 65 years, John Sr.; son, John Jr. (Robin); grandchildren, Sean and Sherrie; great-granddaughter, Georgean Venita, Megan, Diane Lou and Kevin, Dee husband Mark and granddaughter Amy Renee.
Venita was preceded in death by her parents, Ernest and Hanna Lee Stanfill; brother, Robert and his wife Barbara Stanfill and sister Delores (Ivan living) Smith.
Venita enjoyed an extraordinary life and in her last few months often commented on how grateful she was to have had such a wonderful life.
A funeral service will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 26, 2019 at the Law-Jones Funeral home, Mt. Carroll, Illinois. Burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery, Mt. Carroll. Visitation will be held 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Friday, October 25, 2019, and one hour prior to the service on Saturday from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. at the funeral home.
Friends and family may share in Venita’s life at lawjonesfuneralhome.com.