Eugene F Connolly

Received the Breath of Life
9 March 1927 Lawrence MA

Called to Accept the Marist Brotherhood
26 July 1944

Married Sally Ann Freedman
St Thomas the Apostle Church
Peabody MA 6 April 1968

Was Commended to God
3 March 2005
at home Danvers, MA

Mass of Christian Burial
8 March 2005
St. Mary of the Annunciation Church
Danvers, MA

St Mary's Cemetery
Danvers MA



Gene Connolly entered the Marist Juniorate in Esopus in September 1942 as a high school junior, having completed his first two years of secondary school at Catholic Central High School, Lawrence MA.  He then completed his Novitiate training and college training in Poughkeepsie, graduating from Marist (then Marian) College with the second graduating class in August 1948. 

He taught first at Catholic Central High School,  Wheeling West Virginia.  During his time there he wrote the monthly chronicles for the school published in the Bulletin of Studies.  They were created with verve and imagination which led the Brothers around the country to immediately leaf to that section each month.  He taught in several other schools, and we taught at Marist College together in the summers of 1955 and 1956.       Richard Foy

The following obituaries were published in local papers and were forwarded to MaristsAll by Sally Connolly.  Many thanks, Sally.


 Dr. Eugene F. Connolly, of Danvers, husband of Sally Ann (Freedman) Connolly, died peacefully March 3, 2005, at his home, surrounded by his loving family.Born in Lawrence, he was the son of the late Eugene A. and Catherine (Menut) Connolly.

He received his primary education in the Lawrence schools, attended Central Catholic High School and graduated from the Marist Brothers Scholasticate in New York. He earned his bachelor's degree from Marist College, where he was valedictorian of the first graduating class. He received his master's degree in English from St. John's University in New York and a doctorate in higher education from Boston College.

Dr. Connolly began his teaching career with the Marist Brothers, after which he served as supervisor of management training and public relations at Western Electric Co. in North Andover.

Returning to his true passion, he taught for 37 years as a professor of English and communications at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill. He also served as department chair at the college and as an adjunct professor at several local colleges. A published author and guest speaker, Dr. Connolly was Northern Essex Community College's first recipient of the prestigious Commonwealth of Massachusetts Citation for Outstanding Performance.
In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Dr. Connolly enjoyed biking, boating and vacationing with his family in New Hampshire, relishing nature's beauty. He was a communicant and Eucharistic minister at St. Mary of the Annunciation Church in Danvers.

A loving husband, father and grandfather, he is survived by his beloved wife of 37 years; his three daughters, Kathleen M. Connolly of Pembroke, Jennifer J. Jones and her husband, Andrew, of Peabody, and Kelly Ann Colby and her husband, David, of Newburyport; one son, Sean M. Connolly, Esq., of Marblehead; four granddaughters, Kaitlyn and Olivia Colby and Sommerlyn and Jacquelyn Jones; one sister, Margaret Connolly of Lincoln; one brother, Father William J. Connolly S.J. of Chestnut Hill; and a niece and a nephew.

His funeral was held March 8 from the Peterson-O'Donnell Funeral Home of Danvers, followed by a funeral Mass celebrated in St. Mary of the Annunciation Church, Danvers.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Eugene J. Connolly/NECC College Scholarship Fund, c/o Danvers Bank, 1 Conant St., Danvers, MA 01923.


Eugene Connolly; with heart, voice, he taught communication
By Nicole Haley, Globe Correspondent 
March 17, 2005

 Eugene F. Connolly had a thirst for knowledge that he couldn't help but share. The popular English professor, who loved nature and mastered the spoken and written word, continued learning and teaching until the day he died.

''He kept his mind young by continually learning," said his daughter Kathleen M., of Pembroke.
Dr. Connolly, who successfully endured seven operations during a 10-year battle with throat cancer, died March 3 in his Danvers home from a brain tumor. He was 77.

In a 37-year career as a professor and administrator at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, Dr. Connolly shared with students his passion for literature, public speaking, and living life to the fullest.

''He wanted each classroom experience to be a peak experience," said his wife of 37 years, Sally Ann (Freedman). ''He's the only teacher I know that students would actually go up and hug after class."
Born in Lawrence, Dr. Connolly attended Central Catholic High School and graduated from the Marist Brothers Scholasticate in New York. He earned his bachelor's degree from Marist College, a master's degree in English from St. John's University in New York, and a doctorate in higher education from Boston College.

Dr. Connolly began teaching English at Northern Essex in the 1960s and served as chairman of the Communications Department from 1970 to 1975. He was the first professor to teach interpersonal communication, a class on speaking in front of large groups, his wife said.

An accomplished public speaker who delivered numerous graduation speeches and eulogies, Dr. Connolly temporarily lost his ability to speak about 10 years ago after an invasive throat cancer surgery.
With the use of visual aids and written materials, he decided to teach the interpersonal communications course that summer without saying a word. ''He thought that maybe it would help them to understand this great gift we have even more," his wife said.

A Eucharistic minister at St. Mary of the Annunciation in Danvers, Dr. Connolly enjoyed writing poems and meditations on his experiences in nature.

One of Dr. Connolly's favorite books to assign in class was ''Tuesdays with Morrie," his daughter said. He used it to show his students that we are never finished learning. The story, she said, reflected his own life in the end.

''He lost all the gifts he loved -- his ability to read and to write. And he was paralyzed on one side. But he was happy and enjoyed his family through all of it," she said.

Even without the ability to speak, his daughter said, Dr. Connolly made a lasting impression on the nurses and doctors he met. ''Everyone said it was in his eyes and his smile," she said.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Dr. Connolly leaves two other daughters, Jennifer J. Jones of Peabody and Kelly Ann Colby of Newburyport; a son, Sean M. of Marblehead; a sister, Margaret of Lincoln; a brother, the Rev. William J. Connolly S.J. of Chestnut Hill; and four granddaughters.