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Friskel Funeral Home

230 East McKay Street
Frontenac, KS 66763
(620) 231-7360
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Frontenac KS Obituaries and Death Notices

'She was my angel ... my anchor' - The Kingston Whig-Standard

Monday, October 10, 2016

Ita and Dympna, emigrated to Canada in the 1960s, eventually settling in the Limestone quarter.In Kingston, the McConnells owned and operated the old Frontenac Hotel on Ontario Street and, in time, the Irish pubs Finnegan’s and Muldoon’s, bringing in top-name Irish acts such as the Clancy Brothers and the Irish Rovers.In 1978, she turned on the Irish charm, flashed that irresistible smile, and convinced the Echoes of Erin Concert Tour Group to include Kingston in its schedule. It was, as cafe owner Rick told the Vichy police chief at the end of Casablanca, the start of a beautiful relationship.Later that same year, she founded the local branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, and a decade later would be elected chair of the Eastern Comhaltas Regional Board.For several years, she manned the Irish pavilion during the city’s annual Folklore celebration.The Irish Post described McConnell-Strong as “a champion” of traditional music, while the Ireland Canada Monument, an organization that salutes the work of Irish Canadians and Canadians of Irish descent, also weighed in with this lofty tribute: “For most of her adult life, Anne has ceaselessly promoted the development and preservation of traditional culture in Canada and the United States. Her contributions to this cause have been immeasurable.”On Wednesday afternoon, instead of having lunch in Toronto with his mother as planned, Finny McConnell was arranging her farewell at a Kingston funeral parlour. Her funeral will be held Friday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Palace Road.“My mother was a lifelong champion of Irish culture in Canada and our band’s biggest supporter,” he said of the lady affectionately known by band members as St. Annie. “She helped us so much, especially in the beginning, financially, too. Thanks to that caring and support, this little Irish punk band has been around 26 years and managed to tour the world and put out 16 albums, but we wouldn’t be here without her continuous encouragement.“She was my angel,” he added, “my inspiration, my anchor.”The Mahones announced on their website that the band has cancelled all dates on an upcoming tour in Britain and Europe to “recover from this unbelievable loss.”In the early 1980s, the McConnells sold their Kingston watering holes and divorced. Annie later married Elmer Strong and returned to the field of medicine, working as surgical nurse at Kingston General Hospital.Long retired from that profession, she still spent most Fridays escorting patients to mass in the KGH chapel. “She was a caregiver to the very end, a most caring person,” said her son.A lifelong teetotaller, McConnell wasn’t averse to pouring for others, albeit on the sly.“One time I found about 40 bottles of Bailey’s Irish Cream in her closet,” Finny recalled.Questioned on the liquid stash, his mom came clean, telling her lad that each time she visits residents at a local retirement home, she sneaks in a bottle in her purse and cracks it open, on the QT, mind you.Not surprisingly, it wasn’t long before a cup of ordinary joe bec...

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'She was my angel ... my anchor' - The Kingston Whig-Standard

Monday, October 10, 2016

Ita and Dympna, emigrated to Canada in the 1960s, eventually settling in the Limestone quarter.In Kingston, the McConnells owned and operated the old Frontenac Hotel on Ontario Street and, in time, the Irish pubs Finnegan’s and Muldoon’s, bringing in top-name Irish acts such as the Clancy Brothers and the Irish Rovers.In 1978, she turned on the Irish charm, flashed that irresistible smile, and convinced the Echoes of Erin Concert Tour Group to include Kingston in its schedule. It was, as cafe owner Rick told the Vichy police chief at the end of Casablanca, the start of a beautiful relationship.Later that same year, she founded the local branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, and a decade later would be elected chair of the Eastern Comhaltas Regional Board.For several years, she manned the Irish pavilion during the city’s annual Folklore celebration.The Irish Post described McConnell-Strong as “a champion” of traditional music, while the Ireland Canada Monument, an organization that salutes the work of Irish Canadians and Canadians of Irish descent, also weighed in with this lofty tribute: “For most of her adult life, Anne has ceaselessly promoted the development and preservation of traditional culture in Canada and the United States. Her contributions to this cause have been immeasurable.”On Wednesday afternoon, instead of having lunch in Toronto with his mother as planned, Finny McConnell was arranging her farewell at a Kingston funeral parlour. Her funeral will be held Friday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Palace Road.“My mother was a lifelong champion of Irish culture in Canada and our band’s biggest supporter,” he said of the lady affectionately known by band members as St. Annie. “She helped us so much, especially in the beginning, financially, too. Thanks to that caring and support, this little Irish punk band has been around 26 years and managed to tour the world and put out 16 albums, but we wouldn’t be here without her continuous encouragement.“She was my angel,” he added, “my inspiration, my anchor.”The Mahones announced on their website that the band has cancelled all dates on an upcoming tour in Britain and Europe to “recover from this unbelievable loss.”In the early 1980s, the McConnells sold their Kingston watering holes and divorced. Annie later married Elmer Strong and returned to the field of medicine, working as surgical nurse at Kingston General Hospital.Long retired from that profession, she still spent most Fridays escorting patients to mass in the KGH chapel. “She was a caregiver to the very end, a most caring person,” said her son.A lifelong teetotaller, McConnell wasn’t averse to pouring for others, albeit on the sly.“One time I found about 40 bottles of Bailey’s Irish Cream in her closet,” Finny recalled.Questioned on the liquid stash, his mom came clean, telling her lad that each time she visits residents at a local retirement home, she sneaks in a bottle in her purse and cracks it open, on the QT, mind you.Not surprisingly, it wasn’t long before a cup of ordinary joe bec...