John “Johnny” Patrick Connell went to be with the Lord in the early morning hours of May 12, 2023, at 80 years of age in Amarillo, TX, where his family was with him as he finished his time on earth. John was born April 6, 1943, in Cuero, TX to Andrew “Drew” Connell and Gracie June Wetsel and grew up in Clayton/Stead, NM. He met his future bride, Betty Beck, in Amarillo, TX and they were married in Gruver, TX on January 26, 1963. After spending most of their married life in New Mexico, they moved back “home” to Amarillo, TX in July 2021 to be closer to family.
John took a job with Southwestern Public Service, which eventually transferred him to Carlsbad, NM. After various positions with the company and living in several places in Southeastern New Mexico, John and Betty were eventually moved to Hobbs, NM, where John retired earlier than planned due to chronic health issues he was suffering. Neither retirement nor illness ever slowed him down, though. Never one to remain idle, he found a way to express his creativity and talents in woodworking and developed a unique talent for crafting handmade works of art. Each creation was a vision of his and each one made with the same painstaking care, devotion, and commitment that he showed in every aspect of his life. His desire was to express his God-given talent and to bless others. Anyone who has laid eyes on one of his creations knows that they are looking at something rare that can never be duplicated.
John was a devoted and loving husband to Betty Connell for 60 years. Their lives together were an inspiration to all who met them. The love and devotion they showed to each other is a rare example of how God designed and intended marriage to be. He was a committed father of three children, John Matthew, Melinda D’Lyn and Mark Allen. He was a father who showed selfless sacrifice to each child loving and supporting them in everything they did and encouraged them in their accomplishments and ambitions, teaching them the value of hard work and strong ethics, always with a gentleness of spirit.
John touched the lives of everyone he met. He always had a smile and a sense of humor that never failed. He was a leader in his community, achieving several awards and achievements, including being named among the Outstanding Young Men of America for the United States Jaycees, as well as serving in leadership roles in numerous civic organizations in the community he served.
He is preceded in death by his father and mother, Andrew, and Gracie June Connell.
He is survived by his wife, Betty Connell, and his children, Matt Connell and his wife, Becky Connell, Melinda Wight and her husband Michael Wight, and Mark Connell. He is also survived by his two brothers Otis Owen Connell, and Roger Connell and his three sisters, Evelyn Van Deventer, Ann Barnhart, and Susan Booth. He is also survived by his four grandchildren, who he loved very much.
Memorial services to honor John’s life on Saturday June 10, 2023, at 2:00 PM at Hillside Christian Church Chapel. Location is 6100 S. Soncy Road, Amarillo, TX. There will be an online viewing option of the services for those who are unable to attend in person. All are invited and encouraged to attend the reception at Hillside Church that will directly follow the memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be made to the Hope House in Lubbock, TX which served as a blessing to John and Betty during a difficult time. Checks can be made payable to “American Cancer Society – Hope Lodge Lubbock” and mailed to 3511 10th St., Lubbock, TX 79415 or online at: www. Cancer.org/hopelodgelubbockdonate.