She was the wife of the late CWO4 Thomas F. Connell. Born on April 10, 1917 in Waupaca, Wisconsin, she was a daughter of the late Venanzio and Giovannina (Arquilla) Ginnetti. After graduating from Waupaca High School, she worked in Waupaca for 10 years before joining the cryptology dept. of the Foreign Service, US State Dept. in the Embassy in Rome in 1945. After their marriage at St. Peter’s basilica in the Vatican in 1951, she and her family lived in Warsaw, Poland; Lisbon, Portugal; Beirut, Lebanon; Vienna, Austria, and for many years in Arlington, VA. Since 1990 she had been living at the Fairfax retirement community in Ft. Belvoir where she thrived and was very well looked after. Phyl was well known as a consummate decorator of eggs, which she hand-created for every occasion and distributed liberally to family and friends. She was an avid Scrabble player with her family and continued to play well even as her eyesight began to fail; in her last game this past July she still managed to “play them all.” Her family and friends remember her for her famous “topknot” and for her outgoing and friendly demeanor, innate curiosity and sharp intellect. She was renowned for remembering everyone’s birthday and anniversaries, sending hand-written cards and notes based information in her little black book.
She is survived by her son Charles Connell and his wife Michelle Proulx, Darien, CT; her grandchildren, Daniel and Gerianne Connell, and her sister, Yolanda Perry, Waupaca. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her sister, Rosina Ginnetti.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, September 23, 2016 at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 8710 Mount Vernon Hwy, Alexandria, VA. Burial at Arlington Cemetery will be private at a later date. Kindly omit flowers. Memorial donations may be made to the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Community Director, Cantwell Hall, 4200 South 4th St., Leavenworth, KS 66048-5054. Condolences may be expressed online at www.murphyfuneralhomes.com.