John Francis Connelly (1940 - 2014)

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  • "And Kate, that was a beautiful tribute. Eloquent."
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    - Betsy and Bob Stephenson
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    - Carolyn Ward
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    - Dan Matthews
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WAYNE - John Francis Connelly, 73, passed away early Friday morning, June 13, 2014 after a long illness.

He was born Sept. 1, 1940, in Cambridge, MA, the youngest child of Charles R. and Margaret (Foley) Connelly. His family soon moved to Naples, Maine, where he spent his early Childhood years attending a one-room schoolhouse and enjoying life on the lake. Nurtured by his beloved grandfather and namesake, John Francis Foley, he developed a life-long love of fly-fishing and the State of Maine. His dream of returning there was realized in 1999 and he delighted in telling people that he 'lived in the woods of Wayne, Maine'. It was the assistance of his Irish cousins that he renamed his home in Wayne, 'Coill Ui Chongaile' (Connelly's Wood). His happiness was found in home, family, friends, neighbors, his pound puppy Dickens, fishing and his tractor. He felt very fortunate to have traveled with his wife to many places in the U.S. and Canada as well as making several voyages to England, Wales and Ireland.

After high school, John enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving in Cuba during the missile crisis and in Vietnam, where he received the distinguished Purple Heart for wounds sustained in combat. After an honorable discharge, he later attended NYSU at Stony Brook, becoming a physician assistant in 1974 and beginning his career with a family medicine practice in Vermont. He later relocated to Connecticut, working at Windham Hospital (Willimantic, CT), St. Francis Hospital (Hartford, CT) and St. Mary's Hospital (Waterbury, CT) before retiring in 2006 from the VA Medical Center @ Togus.

John met his wife, Kate, through a blind date arranged by colleagues at St. Francis Hospital and they were married August 9, 1997. One of his last acts of love was to procure a supply of next winter's wood for his family.

He was predeceased by his grandfather, parents, sister Maureen and brother Charles as well as so many cherished too numerous to name.

John is survived by his wife, Kathleen, his mother and father-in-law Joseph and Marguerite Ballou (Bethlehem, CT), brothers and sisters-in-law and their children, sister-in-law Myrna Pagan Connelly (Vieques, P.R.) and her children and grandchildren, nieces Marie Lodge (Gastonbury, CT) and Margaret Lanieri (Upton, MA) and their families of whom he was especially fond, his 'relatives' in Ireland, most notably cousins Brenda, Michael, Miceal and Nuala, dear friends in England, Ged and Marilyn Layfield, and long-time friends Bill and Lisa Keys (PA) and Bill and Ann Bushey (CT).

John loved his adopted village of Wayne and felt very blessed to have been embraced by wonderful friends and neighbors who, over the past two years, have provided words, offers and acts of encouragement, support and assistance. A special thank you to Jane, who kept John supplied with the books he loved, and to Grace, who John truly loved. He looked forward to 'the guys' annual spring and autumn fishing trips and was able to make a last journey in May with the able assistance and loving care of his friends, Jim Schmidt, Paul Zimmerman and Don Welsh. John and Kate are especially grateful for the love, compassion, support and superb medical care provided by Drs. Kruse, Leidinger, Hodapp, Lee, Schneid, Harmon and their respective staff at the Togus VA.

A Mass in Commemoration will be celebrated at a later date at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, CT.

A graveside committal service with full military honors will be at 10:00am Thursday, July 3rd , 2014 at the new Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Mount Vernon Road, Augusta. Following the service, we invite all who knew John to a ceilidh ('Gathering'/reception) at the Androscoggin Yacht Club in Wayne. All are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, John would be honored with memorial donations to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675-8517, the Maine Chapter, DAV, P.O. Box 3415, Augusta, ME 04330, Puppies Behind Bars, 263 West 38 St., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10018 or a charity near to your heart or flowers to someone you love.

Arrangements are in the care of Roberts Funeral Home, 62 Bowdoin St., Winthrop, where memories, condolences, photos and videos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of our website at

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Roberts Funeral Home
62 Bowdoin Street
Winthrop, ME 04364
(207) 377-8696
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Published in Central Maine on June 17, 2014