Virgil D. 'Dean' McConnell

Virgil D. “Dean” McConnell, 94, of Norfolk, died Thursday, July 25, 2019 at Faith Regional Health Services in Norfolk.

Services for will be 10:30 a.m., Monday, July 29 at the First United Methodist Church in Norfolk.  The Reverend Bridget Gately will officiate. Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, July 28 at Home for Funerals on Norfolk Avenue. Graveside Services will be 1 p.m., Tuesday, July 30 at the Alma Cemetery in Alma, with military honors by the Nebraska National Guard Honor Guard and Alma American Legion Fay Cady Post #118.  

Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Arrangments are with Home for Funerals in Norfolk.

Virgil Dean McConnell was born on April 6, 1925 in Huntley to Lawrence and Pearl (Willis) McConnell.  He grew up in Huntley and graduated from Huntley High School in 1942. Dean received a B.S. degree from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1950 and a M.A. degree from Kearney State College in 1960. He also attended Oklahoma A & M College (now Oklahoma State University) while in the service and Wayne State College. He served with the U.S. Army from July 1943 until September 1945. He served with Co. L, 18th Infantry of the First Infantry Division (The Big Red One) in Europe during World War II with action through the Hurtgen Forest Campaign and the Battle of the Bulge. Dean was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantry Badge, the European Theatre medal with two bronze stars, the Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.  

On June 1, 1946 Dean married Delphia Claiborne in Franklin, Neb. The couple lived in Huntley until 1953, in Franklin until 1957 and in Wayne until 1963 when they moved to Norfolk. To this union, two children were born, Deanna and Donna Sue. Dean farmed near Huntley until 1986 and taught Industrial Arts at the senior high level - one year at Huntley, six years at Wayne and then 27 years at Norfolk until he retired in 1990.  

Survivors include his wife of 73 years, Delphia; two daughters, Deanna Kruger and Donna Sue Swonger; six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Pearl; his sister Twyla; brother-in-law, Henry Wessels; and son-in-law, Lawrence Kruger.

Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

The Wayne Herald

Mailing Address:
114 Main Street
Wayne, NE 68787
Phone: 402-375-2600

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