Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Edward McConnell (died 26 June 2015, aged 84)

Further obituaries can be found in The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star 

Edward (Ted) McConnell, financial consultant, honorary graduate and former Queen’s Foundation Board member, died peacefully in Toronto in June 2015, surrounded by his family. He had suffered from Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson's for a number of years.

Ted studied Law at Queen's, graduating with an LLB in 1955. As a student he was an accomplished athlete, captaining two of the University's sports teams. In 1953, he led the Queen's Hurling team which won the Fitzgibbon Cup. He was also a distinguished debater and represented the University in that area as well.

Ted moved to Canada from Belfast in 1957, 'only for a year,' and never left. Pauline moved to Montreal a year later, to join him, and they were married and lived in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce – nicknamed NDG – a residential neighbourhood of Montreal’s West End. There the first four of their children were born before the family moved to Toronto in 1965, where David was born.

Edward McConnell worked in the investments industry in Canada, firstly for Crown Trust Company and then International Trust where he became CEO and President in 1970. He set up his own investment counselling firm EJ McConnell and Associates in 1976 and remained the Principal for over 20 years. The firm grew rapidly and became one of the largest independent investment counsellors in the country before being sold to Barclays Bank in 1995.

A former President of the Queen's University Association (reconstituted in 2003 as the Queen’s Graduates’ Association) Ted is, to date, its only overseas President. He also helped found the Canadian branch of the Association and served as its President.

Ted was selected in 1990 by the Government of Canada as the Canadian Observer for the International Fund for Ireland. In 1997, he was appointed First Honorary Consul General of Ireland in Canada. He was also Director of the Ireland Fund of Canada, Irish Person of the Year in 1992, and Grand Marshall of the St Patrick's Day Parade in Toronto. He was former Chairman of the Ireland Canada Chamber of Commerce.

President and founder of the Toronto Irish Arts, he served on the Board of Governors of St Michael's College, University of Toronto, received an Honorary LLD from Queen's in 1988 and was honoured by Her Majesty the Queen in 1991 with the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

In 1993 he set up the Barry Bridges Travel Fund at Queen’s in recognition of the efforts of the late Professor Barry Bridges to establish links between graduates in Canada and Queen's. Barry Bridges was Professor of Physiology from 1974 to 1989 and, after retiring from the Chair, was responsible for building links between the University and its overseas graduates. The income of the Fund which bears his name is to be used to enable undergraduate medical students to undertake a programme of elective study overseas.

Ted also served from 2002-05 as a member of Queen’s Foundation Board.

Edward McConnell is survived by his wife of 57 years, Pauline and children, Eamonn (Charlotte), Eileen (Tye), Stephen (Lindsay), Michael (Leslie) and David (Marisa) and grandchildren, Emily, Celia, Megan, Conor, Brendan, Caroline, Julia, Eamonn, Jordan, Niall, Aidan, Sloane, Finley and Willow.

 

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