MICHAEL JAMES CONNOLLY, 82, of Jackson Twp., NJ, passed away on Friday, August 4, 2017, at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Twp., NJ. Born and raised in New York City, Mike, the youngest child of Michael and Ellen Connolly, graduated from Bishop Dubois High School and Fordham University, majoring in Business Administration. He became a member of the Fordham University Golden Rams in 2009.
Upon graduating from Fordham, Mike enlisted and served as a Sergeant in the New York National Guard. He remained an active and committed citizen for his entire life, serving in both civic and philanthropic positions.
Mike met and married his next-door neighbor, Evelyn, after a whirlwind romance spanning six months. They wed at Saint Monica’s Roman Catholic Church in Manhattan. Mike and Evelyn moved to Jackson, New Jersey, where they served as parishioners at Saint Veronica’s Roman Catholic Church and raised four wonderful children.
Mike worked in various financial capacities for local and national construction companies. His most notable projects include construction of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, JKF International Airport Co-Generation Plant, Harborside Financial Center, and Waterford Nuclear Plant in New Orleans, and the demolition of Penn Station.
Upon retiring, Mike worked in Spring Lake, New Jersey, as part of their beach staff. He was a known and beloved fixture on the boardwalk by both young and old.
Mike and Evelyn enjoyed traveling extensively in the United States and abroad. Along with many European countries, they visited Australia, China, and Russia. His favorite country was Ireland, where he returned many times because of its lifestyle and family connections.
He enjoyed sports and was an avid New York Giant and Yankee fan, holding Giant season tickets from 1963. His favorite holiday was St. Patrick’s Day, when he marched with the Fordham University Gaelic Society down New York’s Fifth Avenue. Mike was an active member of the former Jackson Jaycees and a founding member of the former Jackson Irish-American Club.
Together with his wife Evelyn, Mike supported his children’s interests and guided them to be independent and strong. His strong work ethic, family values, and sense of humor are what made him exceptional, along with the sparkle of his blue Irish eyes. Mike was happiest when surrounded by his family, grandchildren and close friends.
He was predeceased by his parents, Michael Francis Connolly (from County Sligo, Ireland) and Ellen O’Brien Connolly (from County Mayo, Ireland); his sister, Kathleen Connolly Biglin; and his brother, John “Jack” Connolly. Surviving are his wife and best friend for over 50 years, Evelyn; his children, Michael Francis, Pauline, Eva and Ellen, and their spouses, Kathy, David and Scott; his six grandchildren, Ryan, Michael, Kayla, Meghan, Stephanie and Rachel; and by his several nieces and nephews.
Go n-eiri an bother leat.
May the road rise with you.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend his visitation on Wednesday, August 9, 2017, from 2-4 PM & 7-9 PM at the GEORGE S. HASSLER FUNERAL HOME, 980 Bennetts Mills Rd., Jackson Twp., NJ 08527. A funeral gathering will be offered at 8:15 AM on Thursday, August 10, 2017, at the funeral home. His Funeral Liturgy will follow at 9:30 AM at the Church of St. Veronica, 4215 Route 9 N, Howell Twp., NJ. Interment to follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Honey Locust Dr., Lakewood, NJ. For directions, further information, and to send condolence messages to the family, please select a tab on the left.