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Paul J. McConnell

May 3, 1943 – Sept. 30, 2017

Paul J. McConnell, 74, Altoona, passed away Saturday after a brief illness.

He was born in Altoona, son of the late Wayne and Pauline (Fusco) McConnell. He married Sandra Pietrolungo on July 11, 1964.

Surviving are his loving wife of 53 years; a daughter, Christina Hiles and husband, Bob; three sons: Paul McConnell Jr. and wife, Robbie, Gregory McConnell and wife, Sara, and Matthew McConnell; five sisters: Pat Zupon, Sandra Dinges, Barbara Baker, Linda LaMorte and Deborah Dawson; two brothers: Corky and Dan McConnell; six grandchildren: Evelyn McConnell, A.J. Rhodes, Lexi McConnell, Paulina McConnell, and Issac and Sam Hiles; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Jackie Turnbaugh.

Paul was a 1962 graduate of Altoona High School. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He retired as a firefighter for the Altoona Fire Department and was a devoted employee of the Santella and Leslie Axe Funeral Homes for more than 20 years. He was past-president of St. Vincent de Paul Society, where he dedicated many years of service to helping others in the community. He was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, the Buccinese Society, and the Bavarian Aid Society. He was a recipient of the Prince Gallitzin Cross Award.

He enjoyed golfing, gardening, watching football and spending time with family, especially his grandchildren.

Friends will be received from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, and from 9 until 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, at Santella Funeral Home, where a vigil for the deceased will be held. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Wednes­day, Oct. 4, 2017, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church. Committal will be at Calvary Cemetery with full military honors.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Paul may be given to the charity of one’s choice.