Ernest Hodges McConnell

Ernest Hodges McConnell

Chelsea

Ernest Hodges McConnell, age 77, of Chelsea, died Saturday, April 21, 2012. A fellowship of thanksgiving to the Savior and Lord for our beloved husband, father and friend will be held at Liberty Baptist Church in Chelsea on Sunday, April 29 at 3 p.m. The family will welcome friends at the church beginning at 2 p.m.

Ernest was born in Bladen County, N.C., and attended school in Rock Hill, S.C. On his 17th birthday, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving four years during the Korean War on the U.S.S. Philip. During breaks from attending Clemson College, he worked for Duke Power Company in North Carolina, and graduated in 1964 with a degree in mechanical engineering. For 10 years, Ernest worked in the aerospace industry for Westinghouse Corporation in Baltimore, Md. and Radiation Inc. in Melbourne, Fla. After accepting a position with Alabama Power Company, he worked at the Barry and Gorgas steam plants before retiring from the general offices in 1989. He later started his own company, ADM & Associates Inc., in the entirely new direction of pre-employment background screening.

For many years, Ernest enjoyed serving in various areas of the church as well as volunteering his time working with at-risk children and those who struggle with mental health issues; this included serving on the board of the JBS Mental Health Authority and organizing the Big Brother/Big Sister program in Walker County. Being part of a great group of volunteers with the Chelsea Citizen Observer Patrol was an important part of his life. Because of his life-long love of sailing, “Ernie” was an active member of the Birmingham Sailing Club for many years.

Ernest was preceded in death by his son, Gene; his parents, Ernest and Mary Lee McConnell; five sisters, Jean McConnell, Ernestine Cade, Hazel Carter and Ruby Fisher; and an infant sister; as well as his nephew, Robert Bolan. He is survived by his wife of almost 42 years, Kathy; son, Adam McConnell (Stephanie) of Leeds; daughter, Christina “Tina” Gray (Kevin) of Sherwood, Ark.; sister, Ann Bolan (Jim) of Wahiawa, HI; four grandsons, Anthony, Tristan, KJ and Cody; his niece, who was like a sister, Mary Spires of Fayetteville, N.C.; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to King’s Home in Chelsea, Jimmie Hale Mission in Birmingham or Liberty Baptist Church Benevolence Fund. The family is eternally grateful for all of the many prayers, kind words and actions from our church family, friends and neighbors and for the caring and professional assistance provided by the staff of New Beacon Hospice.