Terry James “Butch” Connell, was born in Luverne on Dec 17th, 1963 to Dave and Donna (Klassen) Connell in Luverne, MN. As a boy Butch grew up helping at Connell Chevrolet in Luverne with his grandfather, Hugh “Hooper” Connell, his father, uncles, and cousins. This is where he found his passion for cars. He would always be taking things apart and putting them back together. When he was 12 he bought his first fixer upper; a 1962 baby blue Bel Air for $100.00. He fixed it up, drove it all through high school. He then sold it and made a little money and moved on to many fixer uppers after that. Butch enjoyed "cruising the loop” with buddies in his classic car. After graduating from Luverne High School in 1982, he attended Dunwoody Technical College for automotive repair. His passion for cars never ceased. One of his cars was a 1968 baby blue Camaro Convertible that he had fixed up and sold for him to be able to buy Chantel an engagement ring. In 1989, Butch and Chantel married in Las Vegas, NV. They lived in Luverne all of their lives where they raised their two boys, Jesse and Josh. In 1990 Butch began working again at Connell Car Care for the family business; which he later purchased the business from his father in 2002. In 2010 Butch and Chantel bought K&R Auto and moved Connell Car Care to Hwy 75.
Butch had many passions including, but not limited to collecting old cars and fixing them up, snowmobiling with his boys, brothers, and friends, and riding side by sides with wonderful friends and family in the Black Hills. He had a strong bond with their dog, Bentley that he never intended on loving as much as he did. Butch never was afraid of sharing his food and water with Bentley, and Bentley was never afraid to give Butch all the kisses (aka clean his ears). Butch always had a way of finding the best chick flicks & kids movies to watch and get engrossed in, not to mention his favorite TV show The Blacklist. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Luverne Eagles, and Rock County Sno-masters. Most of all he enjoyed time with his wife, sons & grandchildren, who he never forgot to give the biggest bear hugs to.
Butch was always the guy that would help anyone. He always had a smile on his face, and lived life to the fullest each and every day. Butch's greatest joys were his boys, he was so proud of them. His racing adventures began when his boys started driving a racing go cart in the alley behind their house in Luverne. Then he got them into racing BMX bikes. Butch helped both of the boys fix up their first collector car. Drag racing became a huge part of the kids' life with Butch setting a car up for them to race & cheering them on. Some weekends were spent out at the track. After drag racing the boys decided they should try their luck at dirt track racing where they spent many hours in the shop fixing the car each week with their dad. He passed along all of his knowledge about cars to his boys, that will always be cherished & forever lived on throughout his legacy.
Butch is survived by his wife, Chantel Connell, Luverne; two sons, Jesse (Ashley) Connell, Luverne; and Josh (Christine) Connell, Luverne; three grandchildren, Amelia, Oliver & Quinn, and Baby Connell due mid-Summer 2022. Parents Dave & Donna Connell, Luverne; 3 brothers, Al Connell, Morris; Todd (Kim) Connell, Eagle Lake; and Chris Connell, Luverne; in-laws, Mel & Bev Viessman, Luverne; and Scott & Tricia Viessman, Luverne; and nieces & nephews.
A Celebration of life will be Monday from 4-7 pm at Big Top Tents and Events in Luverne, a private memorial service and burial of cremains will be at a later date.
Dingmann Funeral Home & Cremation Services, in Luverne, is in charge of arrangements.
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