OBITUARY

Connee Wright McKinney

January 28, 1946January 29, 2023
Obituary of Connee Wright McKinney
Connee was born in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, but she grew up in the seaside resort of Wildwood, New Jersey, where her parents owned and operated a small family hotel. She began working as a waitress and a chambermaid when she was 13 years old. She and her husband, Russ, met at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. Connee earned her BA in English Literature and a MA in Liberal Studies from the University of Delaware, both after the age of 50. Connee and Russ got married in November 1967, and moved to the historic Village of Arden, Delaware, two years later. A resident of Arden for 53 years, Connee was a dedicated volunteer. She played a major role in turning the former Arden School into the Buzz Ware Village Center. She helped organize and promote a long series of public service programs, special events, art exhibitions, and concerts. She was an active member of the Buzz Ware Committee and the Arden Community Recreation Association (ACRA). She also served as Town Secretary. She served for 11 years as one of three Trustees of the Village of Arden, after being elected for life. She also helped organize several community groups and efforts, including obtaining a grant for the installation of solar panels on "the Buzz." She and her husband donated over 400 items to the Arden Archives Museum, including programs and posters that Connee designed. Connee owned her own graphics design business for 16 years and was an early practitioner of desktop publishing. She and her husband sponsored weekly parties in their studios that inspired other residents to organize a monthly open-mic coffee house that has continued for over 20 years. After 16 years as a designer and project manager for the University of Delaware, instead of retiring, she interviewed over 70 people who went to the Arden School. She researched, wrote, and designed a book about their experiences that was just released in September 2022. She was able to give a presentation to the Arden Club Scholars' Gild in front of many Arden School alum. The school was redesigned by architect Francis Harrison after the original school burned down in 1945. It took Connee 20 years, but she finally tracked down a photograph of her. She is survived by her husband Russ of 55 years, her daughter Robin McKinney and her son-in-law Andrew Herman, grandson, Dominic, her sister Carol Touchton (Roy), niece Cory Redding (Chris) and her children (Rhyse, Nolan, and Emersyn), and nephew Ryan Touchton (Jill) and his children (Everett and Sylvie). She is reunited in eternal peace with son Owen (d: 1986). She designed and wrote a Nanna's Journal based on her time with Dominic each year, delivering her 7th edition of it the weekend she passed away. We will miss her tremendously. We will celebrate the life of Connee Wright McKinney on March 25, 2023 at 11am at the Guild Hall (upper level), 2126 The Highway, Arden, DE 19810. Food will be provided, but feel free to bring a dish to share. Connee favored bright colors, particularly aqua, so please dress in a way that brings you joy. Children are welcome and we will have a dedicated area for them. In lieu of flowers, please donate to ACRA. Memorial services will be held at The Gild Hall, 2126 The Highway, Arden, DE 19810, on March 25, 2023 at 11am. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to ACRA (www.ACRAcommunity.org). Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.witzkefuneralhomes.com for the McKinney family.

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Services

Saturday, March 25, 2023

A Celebration of Life

11:00 am

The Gild Hall