Avraham Shlomo MacConnell – born Edward Andrew MacConnell – did not do things halfway.

As a Philadelphia police officer, he won a commendation for going undercover and busting up a youth detention center abuse ring.

As a convert from Protestantism to Orthodox Judaism, he rose to serve as president of Young Israel of Elkins Park.

As a golfer, he scored four holes in one. Four.

“He was so intelligent that he always wanted to be the best he could be,” said Mr. MacConnell’s son, Edward. “When he decided to do something, he really did it.”

Mr. MacConnell, 72, died Monday, May 11, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital due to complications from the coronavirus. His son said he had been staying at Leisure Chateau Rehabilitation in Lakewood, N.J., when he fell ill. Previously, he had been living at nearby Lakewood Courtyard.

Mr. MacConnell (right) with son Edward.
Courtesy of the MacConnell family
Mr. MacConnell (right) with son Edward.

Born to Robert and Beatrice MacConnell at Philadelphia’s St. Joseph’s Hospital, Mr. MacConnell was drafted and served in Vietnam with the Army from 1967 to 1969. He joined the Philadelphia Police Department in 1970 and worked in the Juvenile Aid Division, Sex Crimes Unit. He retired in 1987 and became a financial planner.

Mr. MacConnell converted to Judaism in 1982 and changed his name. He spent weekends perfecting his golf game and made several sojourns to Israel. Lawyer Allen Rothenberg was one of his best friends, his son said. He was a Freemason for 30 years.

He volunteered for the Shriners and the American Liver Foundation after a family member suffered from the ailment. He doted on his great-granddaughter, Chloe.

His son, fulfilling his father’s dream, transported Mr. MacConnell’s body to Israel, using recommended safety procedures, for burial in a plot that Mr. MacConnell had obtained earlier.

Mr. MacConnell wanted to be buried in Israel and obtained a resting place in advance. His son fulfilled his wish.
Courtesy of the MacConnell family
Mr. MacConnell wanted to be buried in Israel and obtained a resting place in advance. His son fulfilled his wish.

“He was all-in, everything he did,” Edward MacConnell said. “If he was going to jog, he would do a marathon. If he was going to ski, it would be in the Alps. He liked new stuff. He couldn’t sit still.”

In addition to his son and great-granddaughter, Mr. MacConnell is survived by daughter Stephanie, daughter-in-law Kathleen, former wives Anna and Eileen, a brother, and four grandchildren.

— Gary Miles, gmiles@inquirer.com