WESTPORT, Conn. — A celebration of life for Jennifer O’Connell Connelly, 51, who died in her sleep on April 1, 2012 were held April 14 at Greenfield Hills, Congregational Church in Fairfield Conn.
She never conceded her brave battle with ovarian cancer but when all the treatments of modern medicine had failed to arrest her disease, even her indefatigable spirit was not enough to help her continue the struggle.
She was born in Cleveland, Ohio but raised in Hartland 4 Corners, where she attended elementary school before moving to Barnard and the Woodstock junior high school, Skiing and horseback riding naturally followed, the latter including her own horse, which she trained and rode in the Green Mountain Horse Association’s pony clinic each summer.
Her high school education started with Dana Hall in Wellesley, Mass., followed by Hawaii Preparatory Academy, and ending with the Mountain School in Vershire, from which she graduated in 1979.
In 1984, she gained her BA from Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., followed by a Master’s Degree in American Studies at Columbia University in 1987.
Jen worked for a number of years in New York City, where her career included positions with Lord and Taylor as a buyer, with Harper’s Bazaar as an accessories editor, and with Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School as an admissions officer and second grade teacher.
In 1991, she married Mark Connelly, a Georgetown graduate and Cape Cod native, who became the Global Head of Equity Capital Markets at Jefferies and Co. in New York City.
In 1993, they moved to Westport, Conn. to start a family. They raised two wonderful boys, Dylan, now 18, and Ian, 13. Being their mother was her life’s vocation and her greatest joy.
Survivors include her husband, Mark; two sons, Dylan and Ian of Westport; a sister, Elizabeth Gunn Potter of Bozeman, Mont.; her parents, Carol and Charles Cushman of Hartland 4 Corners.
She requested that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to the Block Island Conservancy in Rhode Island (with an earmark to support the purchase of the Solviken Property on Block Island,) where her family owns a home and she spent many wonderful summers.
She never lost touch with her Vermont roots, through, nor her many friends here, several of whom attended her memorial service to say their final good-byes.
The Block Island Conservancy can be reached on-line at wwwbiconservancy.org, or at Block Island Conservancy, PO Box 84, Block Island, R.I. 02807. (401-466-3111.)
This obituary first appeared in the April 26, 2012 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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