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Carolyn McConnell

January 22, 1931 - February 6, 2020

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Carolyn McConnell, 89, passed away in Elgin, Illinois, on February 6, 2020, after more than nine years of living with Alzheimer’s. Carolyn lived her life the way she wanted to, sometimes bucking convention to follow her inclinations.

Mary Carolyn Frey was born January 22, 1931, in Gridley, Illinois, to Leroy and Beulah Frey.  She grew up in Logansport, Indiana, and attended public school where there were already two Marys, so she went by Carolyn for the rest of her life.

Her passions included drawing, sewing clothes—she was a skilled and prolific seamstress—bridge and other card games, and in later life, watching NBA basketball, gourmet cooking, and writing.

While living in Batavia, Forest Park, and Chicago, she worked in administrative and accounting positions, ultimately enjoying a career as a legal secretary. During her retirement in Michigan City, Indiana, she won several recipe contests and wrote a regular food column for The Beacher, a local paper.

Throughout her working life and retirement, and even during her years with Alzheimer’s, she was fiercely devoted to her children and grandchildren—but not enough to let them win at rummy.

She is survived by 3 children: John Jerrard (Malta, IL), Richard Jerrard (Madison, WI), and Jane Jerrard (Chicago, with husband, Jose Valle); three grandchildren: Zach Jerrard (Madison, WI), William Jerrard (Champaign, IL), and Justin Jerrard (Kirkland, IL with partner Cherise Novak); and great-grandchildren Theo and Aria.

Preceding her in death were sister Shirley Lenon (1928-2016) and brother Larry Frey (1936-1997), and former husband John Taylor Jerrard (1924-2017).

The memorial service and burial in Malta, Illinois, will be private.


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Diane Martino from Mount Prospect, IL

"What a beautiful remembrance of your mom. Jane, you told her story perfectly!"

Senthil Kumar Sundaramoorthy from NORTH AURORA, IL

"John, I am very sorry for your loss."

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