Rochelle M. McConnell, age 83, died of natural causes Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at Valley Manor in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.
Rochelle was born in Massena, New York, on June 11, 1936 to Joseph and Marie St. Onge, the third of four children. She is preceded in death by her older siblings, Clova and Colette, and survived by her youngest sister, Diane.
Rochelle obtained a nursing degree in 1958 and went on to marry James McConnell in 1959, whom she later divorced. She is survived by her four children, Melanie Eiberger and her husband Tom, Laurie Geier, Debra Heine and her husband Richard, as well as John McConnell and his wife Joanne.
After her divorce in 1969, Rochelle worked hard as a nurse at Cortland Regional Medical Center in Cortland, New York, selflessly raising her four children on an LPN’s salary. Although she struggled to make ends meet during these years, she still managed to provide her kids with everything they needed and take them on summer vacations.She also honed her culinary skills during these years, becoming an outstanding cook whose specialty was making creative and delicious desserts.
In 1976, fed up with the high taxes in N.Y., she moved her family to Parkville, Missouri, and continued her nursing career in Kansas City.
She eventually rose to an administrative position at Children’s Mercy, where she worked until she retired in 1999.
Rochelle was known for her strong work ethic, her love of family and her great sense of humor. Even as her health declined in her later years, Rochelle was still able to laugh at herself. Her quick wit, in fact, inspired laughter in all who met her.
She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.
A memorial service for Rochelle will be held at St. Matthew the Apostle Church in Kansas City, Missouri, at a later date after the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.