A family from the United States is to honour George (Dodie) Connell, who grew up in Newton Stewart, before moving to Detroit.
His family is dedicating a Memorial bench to honour his life of love and generosity at the Suspension Bridge on the River Cree.
Any friends or family in the area are invited to attend on Sunday July 10, at 3pm and a Celebration of his life at Bellrigg, off the School Rd. south of Castle Douglas, following the dedication.
Born in Kilmarnock in 1919, George grew up in Newton Stewart during the Great Depression, and despite the hardships, had fond memories of his youth; riding on the farmer’s cart to ‘how the turnips’ at age 7.
From the age of 14 he worked full-time at Brown’s Grocers until joining the Royal Horse Artillery in 1939, at the start of WWII. He fought in North Africa and Italy as an Artillery Surveyor, and safely returned to Scotland in 1946.
While in the Army, he was treated by a Physiotherapist in South Africa. This gave him the drive and ambition to study Physiotherapy. After his initial studies, he took a position at a London hospital, where he met his future wife Isabelle.
She, coincidentally, had been evacuated to her Aunt May’s home in Newton Stewart during the Blitz in London. George and Isabelle married in 1951, and after completing his post-graduate work in London, they emigrated to the United States in 1958.
Settling in Detroit, George and Isabelle had two sons, Stewart and Duncan. He became Director of Physical Therapy at the Detroit Medical Center and Memorial Hospital, helping countless people recover from injuries and illness.
He then started a private practice, and continued helping patients until retiring in 1992 at age 72. George and his family made many trips to Scotland during those years, and his sons are very proud of their Scottish heritage. After retiring to Florida to enjoy golf and traveling, George was fortunate to enjoy good health and good fortune, including his treasured granddaughter Madison, until he passed away peacefully in May of 2015.
His family hope you will join them. Any questions may be sent via Email to firstname.lastname@example.org