MONTE VISTA— Roy McConnell, Jr., 93, died July 26, 2017 in Monte Vista.
He is survived by his daughters, Cindy (Michael) Shoemaker; Suzanne (Richard) Benton; his sons, Lloyd (Kala) McConnell; Dwight (Lola) McConnell; 10 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. He is also survived by his brothers, Taylor McConnell and Calvin McConnell. He was preceded in death by his wife of 72 years, Frances Mathias McConnell.
Born and raised in the San Luis Valley, the son of Roy and Leota McConnell, he was a lifelong resident of the Sargent community. He attended Sargent Schools and then graduated from Colorado A&M (now CSU) with a degree in veterinary medicine. Midway through college, April 25, 1944, he married Frances. He joined the Army while in vet school but was not activated upon graduation as World War II ended.
He returned to the Valley to take up farming and ranching. In 1957 they moved to his childhood home at the 7 mile road, where he eventually developed his specialty, developing and growing 75 lines of disease-free potato seed.
Roy had a passion for learning and passed that onto his family. He had a strong Christian faith and relished working with and for people of all stations of life. He belonged to the Sargent Community Church, volunteered at the food bank, mentored school children in after school programs and worked with local museums.
He collaborated with the CSU Extension Service, CSU’s potato programs and international teams to further development of the potato. Over the years he partnered with other folks to develop better ways to farm and to increase productivity. One of his biggest passions was in water, water rights and law, and he served on countless committees over the decades.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12 at the Sargent Community Church. Memorial contributions are welcome and can be made to the Sargent Community Church or the Beaver Creek Youth Camp. To express condolences, please visit www.rogersfunerals.com.
Rogers Family Mortuary is in care of the arrangements.