Mary Magdalene McConnell dies at 67
–Mary Magdalene McConnell, 67, daughter of Walter and Florence Chun, passed away peacefully on May 31, 2017, in her beloved home in Atascadero. Mary is survived by her husband of 44 years, William James McConnell; her three sons: Jon (Dayna), Michael, and Chris (Chelsea); her grandson Declan; and her siblings: Cynthia (Gillman) Chu, Walter (Ruth) Chun, and Natalie (Leonard) Wall. She was born 1950 in Honolulu, Hawaii where she attended Maryknoll school, continued at El Camino Junior College in Torrance, and returned to Oahu where she graduated from University of Hawaii and met her future husband, Bill. Both teachers, they taught in Guam for two years and eventually settled on the Central Coast. She earned a Masters in Education at Cal Poly. As a teacher, Mary established a reputation for going above and beyond at her school, Monarch Grove, where she engaged students passionately through hands-on activities, theatrical performances, and an intimate curriculum. She had a positive impact on the lives of generations of students and retired with the respect of her colleagues. Mary found joy in the wine of the Central Coast, gardening, traveling, motorcycle trips, giving gifts to others, and spending time with her family and pets. She found pleasure in simple things such as going to the movies, reading out on the deck, and pursuing a good deal. Her generosity was unconditional. After retirement, she placed herself in service to others through cooking and serving through ECHO, teaching craft classes at California Manor, and knitting scarves for the homeless in winter. She leaves the world a better place, and will be greatly missed by those fortunate enough to know her. As she wished, the family is holding a private ceremony and at a later date; a Celebration of Life will be held at Atascadero Lake Park to commemorate the life of a remarkable woman who knew how to appreciate the little things, love, and have fun.
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