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Mary Connolly

Mary Connolly (Moore)

Thursday, September 22nd, 1938 - Monday, April 6th, 2020
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Obituary

Mary (Moore) Connolly, 81, passed away on April 6, 2020, of natural causes, surrounded by the love of her family and caregivers at River Ridge in Avon, CT. Born September 22, 1938, in Hatch Street Nursing Home in Dublin, Mary was the daughter of Edward Joseph Moore and Maureen (O’Donnell) Moore, both of Dublin. She emigrated on Easter Saturday 1963 to Hartford, CT, where she met Mike Connolly of Milltown, Co. Galway, Ireland, whom she married at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hartford on November 5, 1966. Together they raised three sons in Newington, CT, before enjoying a long and happy retirement together in Fort Myers, FL.

Mary was educated at the Convent of the Sacred Heart on Leeson Street, Dublin, and raised on Ashdale Avenue in Terenure, Dublin. In her youth, she developed great friendships as well as a passion for athletics shared with family and friends – enjoying cricket with her father, brother and cousins, starting a school league with her friends, and playing in cricket and field hockey tournaments in Ireland, England and Wales. She would later take up her mother’s favored sport, tennis, which she played for years after emigrating, and shared her husband’s love of golf which they enjoyed together with family and friends in Newington and Fort Myers over many decades.

After she completed her leaving certificate and matriculated, Mary learned shorthand and typing and secured a job with the Irish Pensions Trust on Kildare Street in 1957, where she worked for a number of years before deciding to join a friend in the U.S. “for six months.” Upon arriving in the United States, she worked briefly for the Aetna insurance company, and then for several years as legal secretary for Judge Jacob Dunn in Hartford. She eventually managed business affairs for Mike Connolly Landscaping, a company she owned and operated with her husband for more than 30 years; took on additional work at Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center in Hartford, and Kostin & Company, an accounting firm; and later enjoyed a long career in the finance department in the Town of Newington, where she made many great friends. In the 1980’s she went back to school part time, graduating as valedictorian with an Associate’s Degree in Accounting from Greater Hartford Community College, and in 1996 completed her Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude, from Central Connecticut State University.

Mary was utterly and lovingly devoted to her family, relentlessly supporting their passions and ambitions, from attending countless baseball, football and soccer games, music and theatrical performances, and graduations, to volunteering at Irish festivals, golf tournaments, and Cub Scout meetings. She loved hosting family holidays and legendary Crestview Drive pool parties, sharing a card group with her girlfriends, and playing canasta with her sons – and later their families – on countless long summer afternoons. She adopted her children’s friends as her own, and enjoyed staying in touch with close friends from Brookside Road as well as beloved family and friends in Ireland, where she would return often for visits throughout her life. Deeply devoted to her Catholic faith, Mary taught religious education when her boys were young, and was a longtime congregant at St. John the Evangelist Church in Hartford, St. Mary’s Church in Newington, and St. John XXIII Church in Fort Myers. She and her husband were also longtime members of the Irish American Home Society in Glastonbury, CT, and the United Irish of Southwest Florida.

Mary and Mike instilled in their children an ethic of compassion, hard work and personal responsibility. She is survived by their loving sons, CDR Desmond Connolly, USN (Ret) of Papillion, NE; Jarlath Connolly and his wife Marisa Tamayo of Canton, CT; Aidan Connolly and his husband Roberto Achacoso of New York and Los Angeles; her grandchildren, Erica, Liam, Brian, Aidan, TJ, and Kathleen; and many dear friends, cousins, in-laws, nieces, and nephews in Ireland and the United States. In addition to her parents, Mary was predeceased by her beloved husband of more than 51 years, Michael Desmond Connolly, on July 1, 2018; her brother, Seán Moore; and her daughter-in-law, Diana (Zehrer) Connolly.

Mary was laid to rest on Easter Saturday, April 11, in a private Catholic service at West Meadow Cemetery, Newington. A Mass of Christian Burial and memorial celebration will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes memorial donations in Mary’s honor to Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center holyfamilyretreat.org/memorialcontributions/maryconnolly or to a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at www.SheehanHilbornBreen.com
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Service Details

Mary was laid to rest on Easter Saturday, April 11, in a private Catholic service at West Meadow Cemetery, Newington. A Mass of Christian Burial and memorial celebration will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes memorial donations in Mary’s honor to Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center (holyfamilyretreat.org/memorialcontributions/maryconnolly) or to a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at www.SheehanHilbornBreen.com

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WH

William G. Hall

Posted at 09:39am
To all the Connelly boys (now men), especially Desmond and Aiden, my NHS students, I offer my sincere condolences on the passing of their mother. I am grateful to her and Michael for sending me their boys as superb NHS students in my UConn Co-operative English classes (AP) in 1985 and 1989 who offered me outstanding memories of quality performance, especially in writing and the critical reading of literature. I owe Mary and Michael and all the Connellys much. Peace. Stay safe and healthy.
William G. Hall, NHS (retired, closing in on twenty-one years June 30, 2020)
 
AC

Aidan Connolly Posted at 12:14am

Mr. Hall, Thank you so much for this kind and thoughtful reflection on Mom and Dad. Were Mom to comment on your post she would surely say it is we who were grateful for the influence of such a wonderful and provocative teacher, who pushed us to become good readers and writers and critical thinkers, and equipped us so well with the tools we needed to learn. (She might also with a knowing smile gently challenge your use of the word “superb”). Thank you for taking the time to share this. Our best — Aidan, Jarlath and Desmond.
HG

Herbert Groener

Posted at 02:00pm
To: Desmond, Jarlath and /aidin,
I was so saddened to read of your mothers passing. I know how she and your father loved it so much here in Fort Myers.
I know that Mary will be with your father in a better place. and I know how much you will a miss her.
I think the world was better having had your mother and father in it.
I will miss them both.
Sincerely Herb Groener
Fort Myers FL
 
AC

Aidan Connolly Posted at 07:36pm

Thank you Herb. You got that right. Mom and Dad loved their time -- and friends -- in Fort Myers -- and we are so glad they were able to enjoy it together for so long after working so hard for so many years. Enjoy those memories and we will too. -- Aidan
BH

Bill Hogan

Posted at 05:55pm
To Desmond, Aidan, and Jarlath:
Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your mother. I had the good fortune of working with Mary in my 10 years with the Town of Newington's Finance Department. As Director,  I knew the official Organizational Chart clearly showed Mary was my direct report, but I soon learned otherwise.  I gladly followed her lead, knowing I could never  prevail in any difference of opinion.  When I  joined the weekly Town employee  golf league at Indian Hill, Mary was the only female but also a  top notch player as well. When she asked me to join her group I quickly agreed despite those who advised me otherwise. Why is that I asked? Oh, Mary insists to play by the rules! Of course she did!.. and I became a better golfer because of her. Mary's life personified the spirit of the game: with honesty, integrity and courtesy. She is now with her beloved Mike. Take comfort in the long and full life she led.
Sincerely, Bill Hogan, Newport RI
 
AC

Aidan Connolly Posted at 07:40pm

Bill, thanks so much for posting this. Mom had such great memories of her time in the Finance Department and enormous respect and regard for you. It meant so much to the three of us and to Dad that you treated her with such respect and gave her career such fulfillment. I had forgotten you also played golf with her -- oh yes she played by all the rules! Please do keep in touch -- my email is aidanjohnconnolly@gmail.com -- we are planning a funeral Mass and one heck of a memorial celebration when circumstances allow, hopefully in time for her birthday in September. Many thanks for your kindness. -- Aidan
C

Chris

Posted at 04:47pm
Dear Desmond, Jarleth and Aidan,
We were so sorry to hear that your mom, our friend, had passed away. We have spent most of the day remembering all the fun times we had with both your mom and dad. They were the very best neighbors that we could have ever hoped to have. Like your parents, we were very close to the people in our former neighborhood and felt very lost when we first moved to Crestview Drive. Both your parents immediately were there for us and for Billy and Jenn. They were the type of people you could always depend on and also have a lot of fun with ( all the St Patty’s Day celebrations, pool parties etc. ) I laugh when I remember your mom chasing Jarleth down the Street ( he on his bike and your mom chasing him on foot. I think he was in a lot of trouble! Just like how your mom and dad welcomed us , you boys were so good to Billy and Jenn and we thank you and the whole Connelly family for all your kindness and generosity. It wonderful but yet it hurts when we think of all the fun times we had in the past but we know that your mom and dad gave you the greatest gift of all. The love of family and friends. We love you and you will always be a part of our lives. Love, The Claffey’s
Bill, Chris, Billy and Jenn
 
AC

Aidan Connolly Posted at 07:41pm

Mrs. Claffey -- I must admit shedding a tear reading this. Your memory is a great comfort to us. Please do keep in touch -- my email is aidanjohnconnolly@gmail.com -- we are planning a funeral Mass and a memorial celebration when circumstances allow, hopefully in time for her birthday in September. Love to you and all the Claffeys.
RM

Ruth Ann McAfee

Posted at 11:44am
On behalf of the United Irish of Southwest Florida we offer our deepest condolences to Mary's family. She and Mike were cherished members of our club and we will miss them both dearly. Everyone who met Mary loved her and looked forward to seeing her again. She was extremely well liked and considered everyone in the club her friend. God will welcome her and know that he has added yet another wonderful soul to his family in Heaven. Rest in Peace Mary.
 
AC

Aidan Connolly Posted at 07:43pm

Thank you Ruth Ann and to all Mom's friends at the United Irish of Southwest Florida. Mom and Dad loved their time in Fort Myers and the great friends they made at the Irish club down there. Please do keep in touch -- my email is aidanjohnconnolly@gmail.com -- we are planning a funeral Mass and a memorial celebration when circumstances allow, hopefully in time for her birthday in September. Thank you for your kind message.
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