Walton Theodore Connelly, Jr “Walt” to many, “Ted” to most, of Wilmington, age 84, passed away peacefully on January 26, in the home of his daughter Lauren and son-in-law Sean where he’s been lovingly cared for over the past 3 years. Ted was the eldest son of the late Edna Connelly (Lee) and Walton Connelly Sr. He is survived by his brother Donald Connelly, and predeceased by his brother Richard Connelly and sister Betty Lee Jester. He could do no wrong in the eyes of his mother, even though he was notorious for raising hell growing up with his brothers and cousins. It was with his look-alike and partner in crime brother Richard that he would get in the most trouble, but of course to Edna it was never Ted’s fault.
He is now reunited with his wife of 58 years, Phyllis “Carol” Connelly (Harkins). Carol and Ted met while they both worked at DuPont in the late 50’s. All Ted ever wanted was a boy. He gave up after his third girl and accepted having three daddy’s girls instead. He was the beloved father of Catherine Duffus (Jim), Lauren McCloskey (Sean) and Kristen Evans (Patrick).
Ted and Carol bought a house in the Kiamensi Gardens neighborhood of Stanton in the early 60’s and were fixtures of the community. Ted coached softball for all three girls at Stanton-Newport Little League, where he would yell a lot during a game, but host a pool party in his backyard for the team after. Ted, or Walt to his co-workers, went on to retire from the fibers and composites division of DuPont after 35 years in 1993. Walt was an avid stamp collector and proud member of the Brandywine Stamp Club. His stamp club meetings and events were highlights, as were the auctions. Walt loved auctions, flea markets and anywhere you could get a great deal on used things. Or, even better, anywhere you could win things. He loved playing bingo at Sellers Senior Center on Silverside Rd, bunco with his girls and used to hold monthly card nights that later became poker with the McCloskey famil
He was known as Uncle Ted to over 20 nieces and nephews, many of whom saw him as a second Dad. Along with Richard, he would often take them, or just about anyone really, for regular crabbing trips. These trips exposed you to his unwavering commitment to detail and process as well as his dry humor and knack for common sense observations. Nothing got past Ted. A simple man who loved reading his paper and mail every day, he believed nothing tasted better than a homegrown tomato. He would pretend otherwise, but absolutely cherished the companionship of animals. In particular, he loved his dog Knoxville. Most of all, he loved his grandchildren. He finally got his boys in the form of grandsons.
He was Pop Pop to Ryan McCloskey, Dan Bradley (Stephanie), Colin Duffus, Paige Duffus, Ambrose Evans and Dashel Evans. His grandchildren always brought out smiles and laughs.
A visitation for Ted will be held at McCrery and Harra Funeral Home, 3710 Kirkwood Hwy from 6-8pm on Thursday February 16th. A celebration of his life will follow on Friday February 17th from 12-3pm at Marshallton Steakhouse and Seafood, 3517 Old Capital Trail, Wilmington 19808. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the organization that brought Ted together with his beloved dog Knoxville: Grass Roots Rescue (https://www.grrde.org/donate or PO Box 422, Milton, DE 19968). To send an online condolence to Walt’s family visit www.mccreryandharra.com.