c7c8b2fb-1f6b-4a2b-9b7f-43003b375b0bCOLUMBIA – A Memorial service for Ben J. Connell, 83, will be held at 3:00 p.m. Monday, August 10, 2015, at First Baptist Church, Boyce Chapel. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service from 2 until 3:00 p.m. at the church. A private entombment will be held in Bush River Memorial Gardens Mausoleum. Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, is assisting the family.

Mr. Connell died Wednesday, August 5, 2015. Born in Concord, N.C., he was a son of the late Homer Sykes Connell and Lucy Herrin Connell. Mr. Connell graduated from Appalachian State University with a BS in Mathematics and English; Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Master of Religious Education; and studied Religion and Philosophy at Samford University. He taught high school math and coached baseball in Winston-Salem, N.C. Mr. Connell served in Baptist churches, denominational agencies, associations and the Southern Baptist Convention. He served as the Director of the Brotherhood Department at the South Carolina Baptist Convention for over 20 years. He was a member and committee chairman in the Columbia Rotary Club; past member and soloist with Palmetto Mastersingers; past member of Culture Committee of the Memphis area Chamber of Commerce; past member and soloist with oratorio, opera and operetta societies in Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and Statesville, N.C. and Birmingham, Ala. Mr. Connell enjoyed music and loved traveling; visiting all 50 states, Mexico, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Northwest Africa and Southeast Asia.

He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. Surviving are his wife of 58 years Shirley Kilbreth Connell; daughter, Stephanie Connell Cowherd and her husband, Jim of Clinton, Tenn.; and a grandson, Dylan Sykes Connell. He was predeceased by a son, Phillip Jerald Connell.

Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 1306 Hampton Street, Columbia, SC 29201.