Bom-Wrapper

James Connolly

James R. Connolly

Tuesday, July 11th, 1944 - Monday, September 28th, 2020
Recommend this to your friends.
Share via:

Sign in to the Family Interactive Login

The Family Interactive feature enhances An Amazing Life. Authorized family members can securely access their loved one's memorial website settings at any time.

Share Book of Memories with a Friend

Please enter the name and email details so that we can send your friend a link to the online tribute. No names or addresses will be collected by using this service.

Email Sent

Your email has been sent.

To share your memory on the wall of James Connolly, sign in using one of the following options:

Sign in with Facebook

OR

Sign in with your email address

Your condolence has been posted successfully

Provide comfort for the family by sending flowers or planting a tree in memory of James Connolly

No Thanks

Contact Funeral Home

Please enter your question or comment below:

Email Sent

Your email has been sent.

James's Tribute Fund

  •  Full Name
  •  Initials
  •  Anonymous
By continuing, you agree with the terms and privacy policy.

James's Tribute Fund

There may be a delay while processing. Please do not click the back button or refresh while a payment is processing.
Send Flowers
Guaranteed hand delivery by a local florist

Obituary

SELKIRK James R. “Coach” Connolly, 76, of Fairlawn Drive, died suddenly on Monday, September 28, 2020 while toiling in his backyard. Born in Albany, “Coach” was the son of the late Francis and Beatrice Connolly and brother of Rev. John F. Connolly. He graduated in 1962 from the Vincentian Institute. He attended Siena College and graduated in 1967. He was a proud alum of Siena and a season ticket holder for Siena basketball.

Coach was a kind, charismatic teacher and track coach who left an indelible mark on generations of students and athletes at Cardinal McCloskey High School and Scotia-Glenville High School. He retired from Scotia as the Chair of the Business Department in 2006. Although he left the classroom after 40 years, he remained a dedicated track coach. After one year of retirement, he resumed coaching, this time, at Bethlehem Central High School.

Coach was a lifelong suffering fan of the Brooklyn and then Los Angeles Dodgers. He has been waiting for “Next Year” for over 30 years so it is both tragic and ironic that he passed away a month before the Dodgers win the World Series.

Coach officiated at the national level for track and field including the Olympic Trials. He was elected to the Cardinal McCloskey Bishop Maginn High School Alumni Association Sports Hall of Fame and the Scotia Glenville High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Coach was an exceptional husband and father. He and his wife, Karyn Perlman Connolly, celebrated 51 years of marriage in June. They loved travelling and spending their winters on the beach in St. Thomas, V.I.

Coach loved watching and talking sports with his son and best friend Stephen Connolly and sons-in-law, Gordy Haupt and Joseph Balsamo.

He cherished the time he spent with his daughters Meghan Connolly Haupt and Bekah Balsamo who both moved back to the area to spend time with him in recent years. He was adored by his daughter-in-law, Mollie Owens Connolly and his grandkids Jameson, Sawyer, Porter, Tatum, Baron and Ryan.

A Memorial Mass will be offered at 9:30 AM Saturday at St. Vincent de Paul Church, 900 Madison Avenue, Albany. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, masks are required and seating is limited and on a first come basis. In support of social distancing, please visit www.Stvincentalbany.org to register your visitation in person.

Relatives and friends are invited to raise a glass to Coach at the Bethlehem Town Park at 261 Elm Avenue, Delmar on Saturday, 12:00 - 3:00 PM. COVID guidelines will be in place.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to a scholarship in the name of James Connolly can be sent via Venmo to @CoachConnollyScholarship. An annual award will be given to a Bethlehem track athlete with the grit and ethic Jim inspired in so many.
Read Less

Sign Up for Notifications

Receive notifications about information and event scheduling for James

Service Details

  • Service

    Saturday, October 3rd, 2020 | 9:30am
    When
    Saturday, October 3rd, 2020 9:30am
    Location
    St. Vicent de Paul Church
    Address
    900 Madison Ave.
    ALBANY, NY 12208
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Reception

    Location
    Bethlehem Town Park
    Address
    261 Elm Ave.
    DELMAR, NY
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    Relatives and friends are invited to raise a glass to Coach at the Elm Avenue Town Town Park, 261 Elm Ave., Delmar on Saturday from 12:00-3:00 pm. COVID guidelines will be in place.

Affiliations

  • Crucifix
  • Major League Baseball
  • Roman Catholic Church

Condolences

We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of James here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.

No video recorded.

Private Condolence
Flowers
Lauren Staff and Rich, Nathalie, Matteo, Marco, & Lola sent flowers to the family of James R. Connolly.
Guaranteed hand delivery by a local florist
JK

Jeanette Kavanaugh

Posted at 07:43pm
Karyn, I am so sorry for your loss. I didn't know your husband, but I know you and he must have been wonderful for you to be so in love with him for so many years. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Jeanette Kavanaugh
DB

Don Bassett

Posted at 07:04pm
Jim was a special friend. I have many memories.
His wedding in Niagara Falls.
A cookout at my house.
Teaching him the triple jump
Speaking every year in his classroom after my retirement.
Our many phone calls discussing track.
Speaking with him at meets.
Jim is the only person I knew that always had a smile on his face.
Jim's enthusiasm motivated his students and athletes to do their best.
How much he was loved and respected by his students and athletes.

I will miss you my friend. You were a very special person. RIP
BD

Bill Davis

Posted at 01:42pm
Coach was an inspiration to watch working with his athletes. Positive and encouraging allowing room (and time) for each athlete’s growth. While my kids were not “field” event athletes, Coach always took note of the “track” events and had a positive word to share with all. I will miss his energy and positive words at field and track meets. Bill Davis
KD

Kevin Donnelly

Posted at 07:57am
Coach Connolly was a great guy. I'm honored to have been coached by him At McCloskey Track in 70'-73'1 He was an extremely caring individual and patient guy, very encouraging, he will definitely be missed on this earth! As is often said, go easy bro'! RIP Coach!!!
JF

Jasmine Facchetti

Posted at 10:01pm
My condolences goes to the Connolly family. Coach Connolly always thrived to help others as much as he possible can and still committed to the track team despite his injury in 2019. I hope his soul rest well.
Loading...

Photos & Videos

Photo Album

Upload up to 10 images at a time, max 8MB each
Share by: