John Hazen McConnell died peacefully in his sleep on 30th December 2020,
with his beloved partner Kevin (boy kevin) Hewitt at his side. John was 70 years old.
Born 18th March 1950, in Montreal to Mary Priscilla Hazen and John Edward McConnell, John grew up in Toronto and earned his B.Sc. at the University of Toronto. After moving to San Diego in 1978, John attended California School of Professional Psychology. He completed his Marriage and Family Therapist License in 1986, and his PhD in 1988.
John served as executive director of the San Diego LGBT Community Center in 1986, opening his private practice that same year in Hillcrest, an historically Gay area in San Diego. Through his work, both paid and pro bono, he expressed deep commitment to sexual/gender freedom and self-expression, and to the LGBTQ community.
In 2007, John received a Tom of Finland Foundation Dedication Award for his for ongoing commitment to protecting, preserving and promoting erotic art and he sponsored the TOM Time exhibition in San Diego in 2011.
John embodied the full range of elements that comprise a well-rounded Homosexual.
In the two decades that I knew him, he made it his business to nurture, through mentoring, many of the younger ones in our community. He shared his enthusiasm in the exploration of the more exotic range of sexual activities and the variety and forms of relationships that were available to us to experiment within. He let his home be the centerpiece of a community in San Diego. When he had parties geared to such exploration, it was easy to attend one and he welcomed everyone.
Being a professional within the realm of psychology, John welcomed requests to share his knowledge with individuals and groups. Personally, I found his interest in what was going on in my own self truly equal to that in the sharing of his own knowledge.
John completed his well-roundedness in his avid interest in the collecting of art that speaks to our sexuality. He supported our Foundation by becoming a Lifetime Member, contributing to, and participating in, events and projects that we produced and remembering the Foundation in his estate planning that will assist us in staying active into the future.
Roadkill expressed with actions the process of his fully coming out and was still in that process up until his passing. A role model for us all.
-Durk Dehner, President & Cofounder, Tom of Finland Foundation
When he retired in October 2020, John wrote eloquently on his professional website about his lifelong commitment and sense of calling.
“I have practiced in an era in which it has been radical to assert that – on the contrary – almost all of this diversity is a normal variation that when lived well is healthy and joyful. It has been radical to assert that for many souls these variations are not – as we were taught – pathological barriers to intimacy, but rather the essential path to and expression of joyful intimacy. I now refer to BDSM simply as spicy.” –Visit the John McConnell, Ph.D. website to read of his life work in his own words.
In addition to his partner Kevin Hewitt, John is survived by his brother Malcolm Hazen McConnell, sister-in-law Dawn, and nieces Meaghan (and her husband Andre and daughter Madelein), Chelsea (and her husband Tom and their children Molly and Hazen) and Chloe (and her husband Lars). John was preceded in death by both parents and by his sister Mary Creaghan McConnell.
At Kevin’s request, donations honoring Roadkill and his life can be made to Tom of Finland Foundation.
An in-person memorial is tentatively planned for late spring or early summer in San Diego.
If you wish to be notified about the memorial, please email your request to Kevin.
Published: 11th March 2021Tags: John McConnell
Categorised in: Friends of Tom