Arthur E. “Gene” McConnaughey, 93, passed away Monday May 4, 2020, at his residence following an extended illness. He was born on September 21, 1926 in Mishawaka, Indiana, the son of Walter Chester and Mary (Ball) McConnaughey.
He joined the U.S. Army a couple of days after his 17th birthday in 1943. He went to basic training at Fort Knox and was selected to join the newly forming Airborn training and after graduation he was assigned to Able Company, 1st BN, 502s PIR, 101st Airborn Division (the Widow makers). He jumped in France on June 6th, 1944 at the age of 17 and also jumped in Holland. He earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with Valor during his WWII service. He returned home after the war but returned to service during the Korean War as part of the Big Red 1 Infantry Division. He received his second Purple Heart and was a POW for 17 months. He was held in unspeakable conditions and was tortured being moved from camp to camp. After being repatriated he returned home to Muncie and later married the love of his life Lillian (Rhoden) McConnaughey on July 19, 1969 in Kentucky and she survives.
Mr. McConaughey had worked for as a machine operator for Delco Battery in Muncie for 35 years prior to his retirement in 1991. He also drove a school bus for Muncie Community Schools part time. Mr. McConnaughey had been a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge where he had served as a Trustee, the Veterans of Foreign Wars from Union City, American Legion Post from Winchester and the United Auto Workers Union. Gene enjoyed fishing, playing baseball, coaching Women’s Softball League, shuffle board and playing pool.
Besides his wife of 50 years, Lillian , he is survived by 4 daughters, Karla McConnaughey, Marta McConnaughey both of Winchester and Deborah Lynn Himes (Dale), Gold Hill, Oregon and Brenda Burris (Ronnie), Palm Coast, Florida; 2 sons, William E. McConnaughey, New Castle and Rodger McConnaughey (Rita), Middletown; 14 grandchildren; 22 great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by, 1 son Robert “Bobby” McConnaughey; his parents; 2 sisters and 4 brothers.
Private family funeral services will be held at the Parson Mortuary with cremation to follow. When the Covid 19 restrictions are lifted a memorial service will be held at a later date. Parson Mortuary is in charge of the arrangements. Military honors will be rendered by the Delaware Co. Honor Guard at the mortuary.
Memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warrior’s Project 4899 Belfort Rd. Suite 300 Jacksonville, FL 32256.
Online condolences may be made to the family in care of www.parsonmortuary.com.
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