Thelma Elaine Connolly of Yarmouthport, who leaves family in Sandwich, died September 23. She was 98 years old.
She was the widow of Stephen H. Connolly Jr.; they were married for 69 years.
Originally from Livermore Falls, Maine, she was the daughter of Lovina (Morse) Hardy and Ronald A. Hardy. She was a graduate of Livermore Falls High School.
Following high school, she moved to Massachusetts to enter a nursing training program at a Boston hospital. She quickly learned that nursing was not for her, and earned an associate’s degree in bookkeeping/accounting. She worked at Purdy Photo Studio in Boston, heading up the high school yearbook division, until her marriage in 1951.
When her husband decided to strike out on his own to open Steve Connolly Seafood Company in Boston, with a new division opening in Gloucester a short time later, she was right by his side. She accompanied him to seafood shows all over the United States, attended customer dinners, and met President George H. Bush in the Rose Garden at the White House when her husband won the Small Business Administration Award in 1990.
Ms. Connolly loved watching the swans at her home overlooking Bass River; while her husband was alive, the couple cruised down the river in their boat, My Way. She enjoyed exploring new places, and they traveled the world together.
Among her pastimes, reading and whist were two favorites.
She leaves a son, Stephen R. Connolly and his wife, Paula Connolly, of Sandwich; a daughter, Janice S.C. Petrie and her husband, Mike Petrie, of Topsfield; four grandchildren, Alison Bruno of Sandwich, Christopher Connolly of Woodstock, New Hampshire, Kristen J.C. Petrie of New Market, New Hampshire, and David M.C. Petrie of Haverhill; and five great-grandchildren.
In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by a grandchild, Daniel Connolly; her sister Marilyn Pease; and her brothers Clayton Hardy, Blaine Hardy and Wendall Hardy.
Interment will be private and a celebration of her life will follow at a later date.