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William S. McConnor


1920 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
William S. McConnor Obituary
William S. McConnor

January 27, 1920 - March 18, 2017

Oil Industry Executive

William S. McConnor was born in McKeesport, PA, to William F. & Shirley McConnor. Bill was married to his first wife, Eleanor Mills, for 47 years until she passed in 1990. In 1992 he married Shirle Ridgway of Fairbanks Ranch, CA. They were married for 18 years until Shirle passed away in 2010. Bill had no children.

Bill went to Peabody High School in Pittsburgh, PA. He attended college at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, graduating in 1941 with a degree in Industrial Engineering, and furthered his education at Columbia University's Graduate Program. Bill began his career in the oil industry at Pure Oil, in Toledo, OH, later moving to Chicago. Pure Oil merged with Unocal Corporation in 1965. Bill was promoted to President of Union 76 in 1973, moving him to Los Angeles, CA. In 1976 he was named a Board Member and became a member of their Executive Committee. Bill retired from Unocal in 1988. Bill then joined the Diamond Shamrock Board of Directors until 1994. He was also the Chairman of Colonial Pipe Line Company.

During the 1970s Bill worked through the Crude Oil Shortage Crisis. In 1985, as a member of the Board of Directors, he was fully involved with opposing the attempted takeover of Union Oil Company by T. Boone Pickens. Union Oil was successful in preventing this takeover.

Bill served as a Director of the Daytona International Speedway, Jobst Institute, Northwestern University Transportation School and Palatine Bank. His civic board positions included Children Bureau of L.A., Alexion Bros. Hospital in Chicago, L.A. Travel & Convention Bureau, Chairman of Rancho Santa Fe Foundation and the La Jolla Cancer Research Institute. He belonged to the American Petroleum Institute, National Petroleum Refiners Association and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Bill was a member of Los Angeles Country Club, Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club, the California Club and the Rolling Rock Club in PA.

After retirement Bill resided in both Fairbanks Ranch, CA, and Ligonier, PA's Rolling Rock Club. Bill was an active golfer for over 60 years, but his real love was rebuilding and collecting classic cars and car racing. In 1984 Bill was Grand Marshal of the Daytona 500 Race and worked to bring the Talladega Track to Alabama.

He started collecting paintings in 1942 with a primary interest in the Barbezon School, Hudson River Valley and New Hope artists. In 1995 he helped organize and finance an Art Guild in Rancho Santa Fe, CA, which fostered the development of local art talent. Bill donated much of his collection to various groups.

Chicago honored Bill for all his work with the City with the McConnor Parkway, a lasting tribute.

Bill is survived by his sister Gail Mumma of Albuquerque, NM, wife Shirle's daughter Alison Luckman of Sun Valley, ID, and his nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews of sisters Jean Straub, Marilynn Wills, and Gail Mumma.

Bill was loved and supported by his family, his longtime Assistant, and his many friends and caregivers, all a very important and significant part of his life.

A Memorial Service to celebrate Bill's life will be held on Thursday, April 20, at 2:00pm at The Village Community Presbyterian Church, 6225 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe, CA. His final resting place will be with his wife Eleanor at the Westwood Village Memorial Park in LA.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Scripps Hospice Foundation, La Jolla, CA.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Mar. 24 to Mar. 26, 2017
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