Connolly, John Andrew, Sr. (Jack)

John Andrew Connolly, Sr. (Jack), age 97, passed away peacefully on June 25th surrounded by his loving family. Jack was born in Forest City, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph and Olive Morgan Connolly. In addition to his parents, Jack was preceded in death by his wife, Ann Lukach Connolly, their son, John Andrew Connolly, Jr. (Jack), his sisters, Olive Carey, Helen McCormack, Regina Schear and Joan Schriber, and his brothers, Joseph Connolly and Robert Connolly.

Jack is survived by his three children: Andrea Rogers (Tony), Kathleen Ellis (George), and Michael Connolly (Tracey), his five grandchildren – Christopher Connolly (Nichole), Kristin Bhavnani (Pax), Kevin Rogers (Taylor), Tim Rogers (Sara), Michelle Carney (Paul), and his eight great-grandchildren - Andrew, Weston, Avery, Beth, Trevor, Austin, Luca and Sam. Jack is also survived by his brother-in-law, Carl Lukach, his sister-in-law, Shirley Lukach, and many loving nieces and nephews.

Jack met the love of his life, Ann at Coughlin High School in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania as sophomores where Ann, who was President of the German Club, tutored him. They dated steadily throughout high school, becoming engaged on their graduation night. Shortly thereafter, Jack left to serve our country during WWII on Guam and Iwo Jima as a Navy Corpsman with the Third Marine Division, Ninth Regiment where Ann wrote him a letter each and every day. After the war, Jack and Ann married, moved to Delaware, and started their family.

In addition to being a great husband and father, Jack worked as a supervisor at the Electric Hose and Rubber Company for many years. When the plant closed, he then worked for Uniflair Corp. Later he worked at Spence Security at the Hercules Building in Wilmington until retiring several years later. He thoroughly enjoyed all of his jobs and made life-long friends.

One of Jack’s favorite activities was enjoying a day out at Delaware Park, playing the slots with Ann and family, where he always proudly wore his Marine Corps jacket and “Iwo Jima Survivor” hat. Like most WWII veterans, Jack was very proud of his military service but didn’t talk much about his war experiences until later in his life. He and Ann attended both the 50th and 65th Anniversary Reunions of the Battle of Iwo Jima, reconnecting with old war buddies and meeting new “brothers” from the battle. He knew that the bonds they shared would forever connect them and never really be understood by others. He recorded a short video about his war experience for Patriot Features, and always gratefully acknowledged the recognition he received from friends and strangers alike, thanking him for his service.

Jack was always proud of his Irish heritage, and he and Ann were longtime members of the New Castle County Irish Society. St. Patrick’s Day was a happy holiday for Jack, and he always looked forward to celebrating with friends and family.

In his later years, Jack especially enjoyed seeing his great-grandchildren grow and develop. He was amazed and amused by them, and they brought him great joy!

In his final days, Jack and his family greatly appreciated the care and compassion he received. The family especially wishes to extend their most sincere thanks to all of his physicians and staff who were involved in his care, especially Dr. Ashlesha Chaughule at the Wilmington VA Hospital.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, July 3rd at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine Church, 10 Old Church Rd, Wilmington, DE at 11:00 a.m. with visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m. Burial will immediately follow the Mass in the adjoining cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made in Jack’s memory to the charity of your choice.

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by 2fish