Dr. David Marshall McConnell, EdD, 83, Kennebunk Beach, formerly of Harwinton, Connecticut, died peacefully Sunday, June 7, 2020, in Biddeford surrounded by family following a period of failing health.

Dave was born May 11, 1937 in Biddeford, the son of Gerald E. and Mary (Marie) Arvill Soule McConnell and grew up in Kennebunk. He was a standout student/athlete as a two-sport captain/co-captain at Kennebunk High School, where he led the Rams as a quarterback, receiving the football behind a front line that was so large that all wondered how he could possibly see the defense, as a point guard on the basketball team, and was an all-star pitcher on the baseball team, throwing two no-hitters, four one-hitters and three three-hitters while compiling a career record of 20-6.. In his senior year, he hurled a no-hit, 13 strikeout game versus OOB to ensure a tie for the league championship with York. It was for his baseball abilities that he was scouted by the Baltimore Orioles.

Opting for his education instead, Dave attended Springfield College, where he earned his bachelor’s (1961) and master’s degree (1967) in physical education. He achieved his Sixth Year Administrative Certificate at the University of Hartford in 1981. He culminated his educational journey at Boston University earning his Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Policy and Planning in 1987.

He married his high school sweetheart, Carolyn Boothby, Feb. 23, 1957, and they settled in Harwinton, Connecticut, to raise their family.

He joined the Lewis S. Mills High School in Burlington, Connecticut, as a physical education teacher in 1961, and became athletic director, assistant principal and principal, while coaching many teams at the school. Most notable was his fiery coaching of the men’s basketball program. He led many successful teams known for their intense defensive play, such as the legendary “Cinderella” team of 1969 who were ranked last in tournament seeding and won four amazing come from behind games before losing a heartbreaker in the final and the 1971 Spartans, a top seeded 20-2 team that featured the first team to sport two all-state players. He found great satisfaction in all his teams always focused on developing the student/athlete for life. He retired in 1990 and was admitted to the LSM Athletic Hall of Fame along with his two all-state players.

Returning to Kennebunk in 1990, Dave became headmaster of his beloved alma mater, Kennebunk High School. He was so proud to be the leader of the KHS team and dedicated himself to improve not only the facilities but the curriculum ensuring a first-class education for his students. His hands-on approach coupled with his trust of his core leadership team and an outstanding student body resulted in KHS to being named a National School of Excellence Award in 1991. He cherished the personal congratulatory note he received from President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, for “representing Kennebunk, a place so dear to our hearts.” He retired in 2001, proud of repaying his debt to a place that laid the foundation for his journey in life.

Pursuing his passion for professional baseball, in 1994, Dave joined the new minor league baseball team that his friend Dan Burke was bringing to Portland, the Portland Sea Dogs. He became director of game day operations, a position he held until 2018. In 2001, Dave joined the Washington Nationals organization, serving as director of stadium security and head of ushers at their spring training facility in Viera, Florida. a position he held for 16 years. His friends joked that it took him 40 years to finally make it to Major League Baseball. His joy was being able to meet and spend time with his stadium team, MLB players, managers and special guests. Top on his list was his coaching idol Bobby Knight reminiscing about Army basketball and Knight’s epic fishing trips with Ted Williams, another idol of Dave’s.

Dave loved golf and was an active member of Webhannet Golf Club where he forged many life-long friendships. He especially enjoyed the member-guest and member-member tournaments, the latter he and great friend Joe Whelton won in 1987, earning him the prized green Webhannet jacket.

He was a lifelong passionate Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and New York Giants fan. Much to his chagrin, his three sons and two grandsons all grew up rooting for the Dallas Cowboys, and epic ribbing occurred over the years.

As the executive director of the Kennebunk Beach Improvement Association (KBIA) from 1974 to 2006, Dave was instrumental in developing first-class educational and enrichment programs at the summer waterfront educational facility. He was a tireless force for fundraising capital to preserve the Strong Cottage, add new and expanded docks, the in-ground pool and expanding the fleet of sailing and power boats. He raised the U.S. flag personally every morning before all arose honoring the country and troops. He dedicated his heart and soul to KBIA for 32 years always looking to find young leaders from Kennebunk and Kennebunk Beach to be counselors and counselors-in-training. He established a need based scholarship fund for Kennebunk youth to be able to attend summer lessons.

While Dave achieved outstanding success in his professional career, his true underlying talent was as joke and story teller. His ability to connect with all people, regardless who they were, was a gift. He knew how to lift and help people in need. He never accepted nor would let anyone quit or give anything less than giving 110 percent to achieve their goals even in defeat. Dave loved the movie “Man of La Mancha” and was driven by the song “The Impossible Dream.” It was his quest right to up to the end.

The members of his surviving family whom he was blessed to see grow and succeed in all their endeavors include his wife of 63 years, Carolyn Boothby McConnell of Kennebunk Beach, his sons James E. McConnell (Sheilah) of West Simsbury, Connecticut, USMC First Sergeant (Ret.) Mark D. McConnell (Amalia) of Yuma, Arizona, and Brian S. McConnell (Tracy) of East Granby, Connecticut, a daughter Sharon L. McConnell-Dickerson (David) of Columbus, Mississippi, three grandchildren; Keith J. McConnell of Simsbury, Connecticut, Gavin and Maeve McConnell, both of East Granby, Connecticut , and five nieces.

They are all grateful that he has been reunited with his Mom and Dad, countless friends and their family members and his two favorite dogs, “Rebound” and Big “Red” Cowens.

Friends are invited to calling hours 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer St. Kennebunk. Please bring a mask to meet CDC requirements for gatherings. A private family service will be held Thursday, with two separate public celebrations of Dave’s incredible life to be scheduled and held in both Connecticut and in Maine when all can gather safely and announced by Bibber Memorial Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Dave’s memory to The Dr. David M. McConnell Memorial Scholarship Fund, benefitting students of both Lewis S. Mills High School (Connecticut) and Kennebunk High School (Maine). The Fund will be managed at Bank of America 240 W Main St, Avon, CT 06001. Please make checks payable to the “Dr. D. McConnell Memorial” and reference “Account 385027179752” in the memo line.

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, visit David’s Book of Memories Page at www.bibberfuneral.com.

Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer St., Kennebunk, www.bibbermemorial.com.