William F. Connelly, Sr. 93, of South Glastonbury, CT, beloved husband of Rita J.
(Gorman) Connelly, passed away peacefully on October 1, 2017 at Brookdale at
Plymouth Beach elder care home in Massachusetts. Born April 15, 1924 in Hartford,
son of the late John and Margaret Connelly, Bill lived in South Glastonbury most of his
life since 1960. After attending Bulkeley High School in Hartford, Bill attended Catholic University in Washington, D.C. earning a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering degree. Bill was a baseball player from a very early age and a life-long Red Sox fan. He gained local fame as a high school short stop in the Greater Hartford area playing for Bulkeley High School prior to World War II. At Catholic University, Bill’s baseball prowess attracted the attention of the Washington Senators pro team. His CUA yearbook noted “on the diamond Bill Connelly demonstrated perfection.” Upon graduation, Bill was awarded the coveted Harris Trophy given to an “outstanding scholar, athlete and gentleman at Catholic University” -- an award the University had not given out for the previous decade. Bill remained involved with alumni and fraternity gatherings throughout his life, including playing a baseball game at age 82 for the alumni team against the current student team. During World War II, Bill served in the Army Air Corps and then returned home to Connecticut to work as an aeronautical engineer for Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, later United Technologies, for over three decades. He was involved with the design, development and testing of the “work horse” JT9D engine in the 1950s, as well as the J-57 and JT3D engines. Bill traveled extensively throughout the world on behalf of United Technologies. Bill and Rita were married in 1945 and celebrated 72 years of wedded bliss in 2016. They lived most of their lives in South Glastonbury, CT, vacationing with their three children, Stephen, Kathy and Bill at Cape Cod every summer for 50 years. Bill was a wonderful husband and father. Bill leaves his children, Stephen W. Connelly of Plymouth, MA, Kathy A. Connelly of Concord, MA and William F. Connelly, Jr. of Lexington, VA, along with two daughters in law, Patricia and Rebecca, and four grandchildren, Brian, Meghan, Benjamin and Caroline, and two great grandchildren, Emma and Will. Funeral arrangements will be conducted by the Mulryan Funeral Home, 725 Hebron Avenue, Glastonbury. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday October 21, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Augustine Catholic Church, 55 Hopewell Rd, South Glastonbury. Burial with military honors will follow in St. Augustine Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Cranberry Hospice & Palliative Care at 36 Cordage Park Circle, Suite 326, Plymouth, Ma 02360. For online condolences please visit www.mulryanfh.com.