WEBER CITY - William Edward “Darnell” McConnell, Sr. 91, entered into the gates of Heaven, on May 22, 2021 after a brief stay at NOVA Health and Rehab following a period of declining health.

Darnell was born in Nickelsville, VA on June 9, 1929 to the late Hoke Smith and Pearl (Balthis) McConnell.

He began his career at W.H. Bowling Department Store in Gate City, then entered the restaurant business purchasing Lane Café, then later the Gateway Restaurant where his Friday Fish Specials were popular throughout the area.

Darnell and his first wife, Madeline, were active members of the Scott County Rescue Squad (Lifesaving Crew). He retired for a short time, then laughed as he said he went from building hamburgers to building houses founding McConnell and Sons Homebuilders in Weber City that operated more than 40 years.

He and his wife, Billie enjoyed many winters in Florida together.

Darnell was a veteran of the United States Army. He was charter member of Community Fellowship Baptist Church where he served as Trustee. He was currently a member of First Baptist Church of Weber City, VA.

In addition to his parents, the mother of 3 of his children, Madeline McConnell; brothers, Ron (Tommy) McConnell, Paul McConnell, and Frank (Poss) McConnell; and step-mother, Mildred McConnell preceded him in death.

Surviving is his wife, Billie June (Wells) McConnell, Weber City, VA; daughter, Belinda Poland, Harrisonburg, VA; sons, William E. “Eddie” McConnell (Judy), Weber City, VA, Barry McConnell (Cathy), Gate City, VA, and Lee McConnell (Crystal), Kingsport, TN; stepsons, Roger Carter (Allison), Terry Carter (Regenia), and Tracy Carter, all of Mount Carmel, TN; grandchildren, Matthew Poland (Hayley) of Roanoke, VA, Melissa Heatwole of Harrisonburg, VA, Sara Hodges (Andy) of Johnson City, TN, Seth McConnell of Kingsport, TN, and J.T. McConnell (Hannah) of Johnson City, TN; great grandchildren, Garrett and Carter Hodges, Branson and Emerson Heatwole, Gabriella and Kati Ann McConnell, and Hayes McConnell; several step grandchildren and step great grandchildren; sister, Fern Groen of California; half-brothers, Bobby McConnell (Kristen), and Eric McConnell; sisters-in-law, Pia McConnell, Freida Carol McConnell and Dolly McConnell; and a host of extended family and friends.

The family would like to express deepest appreciation to Darnell’s caregivers; Kilene Nixon, Berniece Miller, Alice Begley, and Rebecca Pratt. Their care and devotion made it possible for Darnell to stay in his own home until the last week of his life.

The family will receive friends from 5-7p.m, Thursday, May 27, 2021 at the Gate City Funeral Home. Funeral services will be conducted at 7:00 p.m. in the Gene Falin Memorial Chapel of the funeral home with Rev. Justin Smith officiating. Music will be provided by daughter-in-law, Judy McConnell and grandson, Seth McConnell.

Graveside service will be conducted at 11:00 a.m., Friday, May 28, 2021 at Holston View Cemetery, Weber City, VA. Grandsons and family and friends will serve as pallbearers. Bob Lewis, M.A. Lunsford, John Haynes, and Ron Herron will serve as honorary pallbearers.

Those who plan to attend the graveside service are asked to meet at the funeral home at 10:15a.m, Friday to go in procession to the graveside.

Those who wish to donate in Darnell’s memory may do so by giving to First Baptist Church of Weber City, 155 Shady Elm Lane, Weber City, VA 24290.

An online guest register is available for the McConnell family at

Gate City Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family of William Edward “Darnell” McConnell, Sr.

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