James D. “Doug” Connell Jr. went to be with his Savior on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, surrounded by his family in St. Augustine, Fla.
He was born in Hoboken, N.J. in 1941, to the late James D. Connell and Mary Devlin Connell.
Doug graduated from Red Bank Catholic High School, Red Bank, N.J., attended St. Anselm’s College, Manchester, N.H. and studied for a short time with the Passionist Priests in Dunkirk, N.Y. He graduated from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, N.J.
Doug joined the Navy in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis where his unit was awarded the Presidential Citation Award for their efforts during the Gulf of Tonkin incident. He served in communications in the Philippines and Hawaii where he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal by the Commander in Chief of the Pacific. He also served on the DE Charles Barry and DE Kitty Hawk. After 4 years, he was honorably discharged as Petty Officer Second Class and served in the Navy Reserves in Washington, D.C.
Doug married Sandra Brownlee in 1969 and moved to Richmond where he started his career in hospital administration which spanned the next 40 years. He was instrumental in Hospital Corporation of America’s expansion project which culminated in the building of Richmond Metropolitan Hospital. He also attended Virginia Commonwealth University in the master’s program. While living in Richmond, he committed his life to AA and Next Step Programs and played a part in having these programs installed into the prison system.
In 1982, he moved to Seaford and served as Sr. VP and CFO of Nanticoke Health Services for 24 years and retired as president & CEO.
In Delaware, he served on the board of United Way of Delaware, Boy Scouts of America, Junior Achievement and was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church; he served on the finance committee of the Seaford Golf & Country Club and the finance committee of the City of Seaford.
Doug and Sandy retired to Jacksonville, Fla. and, in 2016, moved to St. Augustine. Doug was a member of San Sebastian Catholic Church and the Father Rene W. Robert Knights of Columbus where he was an officer and held his Third Degree. He also served on the Parish Financial Council.
Doug loved golfing, kayaking and was an accomplished woodworker, but most of all he loved spending time with family and friends especially over a “good cup of coffee” and many cookies. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He will be deeply missed.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Sandra Brownlee Connell; his daughters, Tara Ward and Kimberly Connell; son, James D. Connell IV (Jay); sister, Rosemary Mann; brother, William D. Connell (Judith); sister-in-law, Nancy Brownlee and brother-in-law Philip Portantino; and 6 grandchildren, Logan Roberts, Victoria Connell, Madison Roberts, Sarah Connell, Kira Ward and Chase Ward.
A funeral mass will be held at San Sebastian Church, 1112 State Rd. 16, St. Augustine at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Doug’s name to Community Hospice, St. Augustine.
Arrangements are in the care of St. Johns Family Funeral Home.