Christopher C. McGonnell, 70, of The Pines Healthcare & Rehab Facility of Olean, NY, passed away on July 29, 222.
Born September 5, 1951 and raised in Eldred, PA he was the son of the late Fenton II and Carolyne McGonnell.
He is a 1969 graduate of Walsh High School. In the fall of 1969 he attended Lock Haven University. After sustaining a broken neck in a tragic accident on campus, he was rendered a quadriplegic and remained so for 52 years.
In time, through lengthy treatment and rehabilitation, he regained limited movement of his arms and head. His mind and spirit were never broken and at the age of 38, through encouragement and support, he enrolled in Edinboro University. Edinboro was one of a handful of universities in the country at the time that had special accommodations and supporting programs for physically challenged students. In 1995 he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English.
For the majority of his life he remained at home under the loving care of his parents (with help from his siblings), and in later years his brother, Jim, took over his care enabling him to remain at home. He enjoyed listening to the opera, books on tape, and watching his favorite teams, the Buffalo Bills and the New York Yankees. He kept in touch with his friends and family via social media and played online games through his voice-activated computer. He never lost his quick wit or sense of humor.
Chris is survived by three brothers, Fenton III (Deborah) of Durham, NC, James (Kathy) and Mark (Joan) of Olean and one sister, Roberta Stephan (Fred Bailey) of Olean; nieces Rhonda (Sean) McBoz, Katie McGonnell, Carolyne (Brian) Francis, Beth (Steven) Kalafatich and Kara (Jason) Miller and nephews, Kevin and Kurtis McGonnell and Phillip and Paul (Erin) Stephan and several great nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents, Carolyne (1982), Fenton II, (2009) and niece Kelley Lash (2022).
At his request there will be no services. Burial will be in the family plot in St. Eulalia Cemetery, Coudersport, PA. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the staff of the Pines Healthcare Facility over the past 8 years.
Memorial donations may be made in memory of Chris to the Olean Public Library 134 N. 2nd St. Olean, NY 14760.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Frame Funeral Home, 230 Main St. Eldred, PA.
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