MOUNT CARROLL—Venita L. McConnel of Mount Carroll and formerly of Wauconda, Ill., beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away Monday Oct. 14, 2019, at Mercy One Hospital in Clinton, Iowa.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Law-Jones Funeral home in Mount Carroll. Burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery, Mount Carroll.
Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, and one hour prior to the service on Saturday from 10-11 a.m. at the funeral home.
A luncheon will be served following the funeral service at Henry's Double K banquet room in Mount Carroll. A memorial fund has been established in Venita's honor to fund air conditioning for the First Baptist Church in Mount Carroll.
Friends and family may share in Venita's life at lawjonesfuneralhome.com.
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 as a soloist, winning several state awards and a national award as well.
She met the love of her life at the Servicemen's Center where she and John quickly developed a love that lasted over 65 years. They were married on April 4, 1954, in Indianapolis, Ind.
Venita was instrumental in helping to break the glass ceiling of women being allowed in upper management. She was vice president for many years of Reliance Laboratory Glassworks, an international company. Venita also was the business administrator for many years at University of Health Science/Chicago Medical School.
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 includes:
National Republican Award, Washington D.C.; 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; member of Hospice Board for North Eastern Illinois; charter member of FISH Organization in Wauconda.
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; appointed by the Lake County Board to serve on the Lake County Community Development Commission; appointed by Cong. Phil Crane to be president of the 8th Congressional Organization for 10 years; member of the Navy League of the U.S.
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 Mount 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.; her son, John Jr. (wife Robin); grandchildren, Sean and Sherrie; and 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.