Marblehead — Stephen J. Connolly III, 93, died peacefully at his home on October 31 after a brief illness. He was the son of the late Gregory P. Connolly II and Helen (Fogarty) Connolly and was predeceased by his wife, Suzanne Santry Connolly with whom he shared sixty-one years of marriage.
Raised in Beverly and Swampscott, he attended Shore Country Day School and the Tower School. He entered Phillips Exeter Academy in 1936 and then attended Lawrenceville School from 1937 to 1940. In 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and served on a sailing vessel out of Nantucket patrolling for U Boats. He then attended the Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT and received his commission in 1943. He served in the pacific for the duration of the war aboard LST -166 transporting troops to landings at Guam, Tinian, Saipan, Okinawa, Iwo Jima and the Philippines. He made trips to Nagasaki and Hiroshima delivering occupation troops and supplies before returning to San Diego and being discharged in 1946.
Immediately after the war he went to work at Connolly Brothers, the family construction business in Beverly working with his father and his brother, Peter. Following his father’s death in 1967, he became President of Connolly Brothers until his retirement in 1988. He and his brother also developed and owned the Bass River Tennis Club in Beverly.
During his business career he served as a director of the Naumkeag Trust Company for many years; he was a Trustee of Salem Hospital for 29 years, and served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1973 to 1975. He was also President of the Tedesco Country Club, Commodore of the Eastern Yacht Club and a member of the New York Yacht Club.
Mr. Connolly enjoyed skiing, tennis and golf, but sailing was his fist love. In 1977 he acquired “Taygeta,” an Aage Nielson designed sloop. With his wife, Suzanne, and the entire family he actively raced and cruised up and down the New England Coast, capturing many prizes in Eastern Yacht Club and New York Yacht Club regattas. In 1991 he took first place in the Marblehead to Halifax race, having finished second in 1989 and in 1992 he raced Taygeta in the Newport to Bermuda race.
Mr. Connolly is survived by his three children, Stephen J. Connolly IV and his wife, Ducky, David Connolly and his wife, Stephanie, all of Marblehead; and his daughter, Suzanne Levere and her husband, Lawrence, of West Hartford, CT. He is also survived by his sister, Helen Cynthia Connolly of Marblehead. He was predeceased by his brother, G. Peter Connolly III of Manchester, MA.
He leaves seven grandchildren, Alison F. Connolly of Denver, CO; Page Minshall and her husband, Thaddeus, of Washington, D.C.; David S. Connolly of Boston; Peter K. Connolly of Marblehead; Stephen (Jay) Connolly and his wife, Nicole, of Marblehead and Julia and James Levere of West Hartford, CT. He also leaves his great-grandson, Thaddeus Macleod Minshall, Jr.
ARRANGEMENTS: There will be a wake at his home at 10 Valley Road, Marblehead on Sunday, November 3 from 2 to 6 p.m. and on Monday from 3 to 6 p.m. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Star of the Sea Church, 85 Atlantic Ave., Marblehead, MA 01945 on Tuesday at 11 a.m. followed by a reception at the Eastern Yacht Club, 47 Foster St., Marblehead, MA 01945.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to the Pleon Yacht Club, 42 Foster St., Marblehead, MA 01945. For online guest book or additional information, please call 781-631-8885 or visit www.MurphyFuneralHome.com.