Obituary of Jean Connelly
Mrs. Jean Blanton Connelly, 93, of Winston-Salem passed away Thursday, August 16, 2018 at the Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home. Mrs. Connelly was born in Mecklenburg County to the late Bascom Byers Blanton and Pearle Price Blanton on April 19, 1925. Jean Connelly lived a long and full life, and its abiding theme was the life she built with Earle, her husband of 66 years, and her four daughters, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. She was a native of Charlotte, graduating from Charlotte Central High School in 1942, then going on to earn a degree in Business, with a minor in Music, from the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina in Greensboro in 1946. She married Earle Allen Connelly in Charlotte on May 21, 1949, and in 1959 they moved to Troy, NC and made it their home. They were faithful members of Trinity United Methodist Church, and fully participated in the life of the church. In addition to serving on many leadership committees and cooking for 50 years of church events, she taught the Ladies Bible class for many years and more recently, organized a children's musical, Moses and the Freedom Fighters. She belonged to the Child Study Club and headed up community outreach for children with disabilities. She was a constant support to her husband's active community service and with her husband established the Earle A. and Jean Connelly Endowment to the North Carolina Community Foundation. In 2014, Earle and Jean Connelly were awarded the Montgomery County College Foundation Humanitarian of the Year. Mrs. Connelly was an avid golfer and from 1961 on, played regularly with a close-knit group of lady golfers and treasured the good times they shared over nearly 50 years. Mrs. Connelly was for many years involved in the activities in her children's schools and was always present for innumerable programs, ballgames, recitals, and graduations. Although it was a far cry from her experience as a city girl from Charlotte, she took on the role of Girl Scout troop leader for 13 years, organizing everything from campouts to cookie sales. She also was instrumental in offering the first Girl Scout day camp in Montgomery County. Certainly one of Jean Connelly's defining characteristics was her love of classical music. As a young girl she was captivated by the Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts of live performances from the Metropolitan Opera in New York and became a lifelong devotee of opera. She was an accomplished pianist and as a teenager, paid regularly into an installment plan so that she could eventually purchase a studio Steinway piano, a prized possession that remained in her home for the rest of her life. Always eager to share the gift of music, she was active in the formation of the Trinity Music Academy, and enthusiastic in her support of its music instruction and outreach. Even during these last two years at her retirement community in Winston-Salem, she put together and presented a number of music appreciation programs. Smart, capable, always engaging, Jean Connelly was a presence to be reckoned with. She was a great storyteller and could always be counted on for a lively conversation. Her loss is deeply felt, but that sorrow is outmatched by joy that she is reunited with her beloved Earle. Along with her parents, Mrs. Connelly was preceded in death by her husband, Earle Allen Connelly; sister, Rebecca Howland; brother, Wilbur Blanton. She is survived by four daughters, Becky Connelly (Bill Briggs) of Winston-Salem, NC; Beth Burkhead (Steve) of Winston-Salem, NC; Franny Connelly (Mary Wessel) of Kansas City, MO; Patty Burgess (David) of McLean, VA; five grandchildren, Lee Briggs (Melissa) of Fairfax, CA; Matt Burkhead (Adrienne) of Windermere, FL; Alex Burkhead of New York, NY; Emma Connelly of Kansas City, MO; Sarah Beth Burgess of McLean VA; great grandchildren, Matilda Briggs and Magnolia Briggs both of Fairfax, CA. A graveside memorial service will be held on Friday, August 24th at 10am at the Southside Cemetery. The family will receive friends in the fellowship hall of Trinity United Methodist Church in Troy from 11:00 to 12:00. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that Memorials be made to the Trinity Music Academy, Trinity United Methodist Church, (239 N Russell St, Troy NC 27371 or the Kate B Reynolds Hospice and Palliative Care Center, 101 Hospice Ln. Winston Salem NC 27103. Online condolences may be sent to www.hayworth-miller.com.