Grover Connell, Jr.

April 12, 1918 ~ May 17, 2018 (age 100)

            Grover Connell of Westfield, New Jersey died peacefully on May 17, 2018 at his home surrounded by his loving family.

            Born in New York City on April 12, 1918 to Mr. and Mrs. Grover Cleveland Connell, Grover was raised in New York.  He went to high school in the Bronx and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Columbia University in 1939.  After working briefly for his father in the rice business, Grover served in the United States Navy as an officer (Lieutenant Senior Grade) on a Fletcher class destroyer during World War II.  Following the war, Grover returned to work for his father at Connell Rice & Sugar Co. (now The Connell Company) and took over the business in 1950.  He has been the President of the company since that time.  Grover greatly expanded the company’s rice and sugar operations, eventually leading the company to become the world’s largest rice trader, and also guided the company into many diverse business areas.  He was a true entrepreneur.  Multiple generations of the Connell family continue to lead the company.

            Grover met his wife Patricia Day Connell in Manasquan, New Jersey at the beach, and they were married for 77 wonderful years until she passed away last year.  Grover and Pat moved to Westfield in 1951 (also moving the company to New Jersey a few years later) and resided in Westfield for the past 67 years, where they raised their three children, Ted, Terry and Toni.

            Grover’s business acumen and work ethic were without question.  He valued commitment and integrity, and his loyalty to those who worked at Connell and others close to him was evident.  In a business world dominated by written agreements, Grover always maintained that any deal could be made on a handshake, as a person should always stand behind his word.  He touched the lives of so many, sharing his knowledge and remarkable experiences.  Respected by everyone with whom he came into contact, Grover remained humble throughout his extraordinarily successful life.

            Passionate about politics, Grover immersed himself in the issues and political process.  He deeply believed in the importance of education and community and supported many organizations and charities, without looking for any recognition

            Yet for all of his achievements and attributes, Grover’s pride and devotion always remained centered on his family.

            Grover is survived by his daughters, Terry Connell and Toni Connell; grandsons, Shane Connell and his wife Jennifer, Duane Connell and his wife Jane, and Sean Connell; and seven great grandchildren, Clayton, Justin, Katherine, Chloe, Lilah, Tessa and Coby. 

            At Grover’s request, services were held privately.

© 2019 Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS