1932 – 2024
Our beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and great-great grandfather passed away after a long, beautiful life. He will be fondly remembered and sorely missed by his family and community. Bob Connell was a kind, gentle, caring, and loving soul. He was blessed with an open, friendly manner as well as an unquestionably strong and steadfast character. Bob loved people, made friends easily, and was widely respected by people from all walks of his life.
Bob was born in Hunt County, Texas, close to Greenville, in 1932. While attending Greenville High School, he met Ettabel Denson – who would become his wife of over 70 years. Their two children are Karen McCarroll, who is married to Chuck McCarroll and reside in Navasota, Texas, and Clint Connell, married to Andrea Connell, residing in Austin, Texas. Bob and Etta’s extended family also includes a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, 6 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren, and 4 great-great grandchildren. His family was a source of great joy.
Bob served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War era. While in the Army he married Etta and they moved to Tacoma, Washington while he was stationed at Fort Lewis. After discharge from the Army, they moved back to Greenville for a short while before Bob was accepted into the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol. For his first duty station, they moved to Navasota (which they had never heard of, but soon grew to love!) and served there from 1956 to 1969. Bob was then accepted into the Texas Ranger service of DPS and served for two years in Bay City before being assigned to Bryan. When he retired in 1992, Bob had served the Department of Public Safety for 37 years. While living in College Station, Bob and Etta were faithful members of several churches and at the time of his passing they were enthusiastic members of Country Fellowship Church.
Our family and many others remember Dad in various roles. His children remember countless hours of involvement and unwavering support in any number of activities; barrel racing, horse care and training, schoolwork, hunting, fishing, working on cars or motorcycles or anything else. The point was never the activity. Rather, it was the time spent together, the lessons learned, and the love shared. And, we always knew where to go for a smile, a hug, or an “I Love You.” When he wasn’t involved in work or family matters, he had a few hobbies of his own – his vegetable garden, fishing, woodworking, handcrafting his own knives, and especially exploring the country with Etta in their RV.
“Mister Bob” was more than a law enforcement officer for his community. Due to his strong but gentle nature he was often asked for counsel, or to help settle affairs or disputes -- or perhaps give a troubled youngster a gentle or stern “talking to” as needed. Throughout his life he was seen as a stand-in father by young people who were without a father or family.
Bob was much loved as a husband and father. He was a “fixer” of most anything – a broken item, a broken heart, or just hurt feelings. He had the patience to listen and would always help if asked. Each of us has our own fond memories, and we always will. We Love You, Dad!