SGT. PAUL L. CONNOLLY, JR. – age 55, in Woburn, unexpectedly, September 29th. Beloved son of the late Paul L. and Eleanor M. (Downey) Connolly, Sr. Devoted father of John P. “JP,” Douglas A., Shannon L. and Rachel L. Connolly, all of Woburn. Dear brother of Claire T. Kessaris and her husband Kenneth Jr. of Woburn and the late Sharon E. Connolly. He also leaves his partner, Denise Sweeney and her children, Kelliane, Kyle, and Ryan Sweeney, all of Wilmington. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Charles Church, 280 Main St., Woburn on Saturday, October 2nd, at 11:30 a.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to call at the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, on Friday from 3 to 8 p.m. Interment will be private. Donations may be made to the Woburn Memorial High School Scholarship Fund, P.O Box 202, Woburn, MA 01801 in memory of Sgt. Paul L. Connolly, Jr.
Sgt. Paul L. Connolly, Jr., a Woburn native and longtime member of the Woburn Police Department, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday morning, September 29th. The cherished son of the late Paul L., Sr. and Eleanor R. (Downey) Connolly, he was fifty-five years of age.
Born and raised in Woburn, Paul was a graduate of Woburn High School, Class of 1973, where he was a four season athlete. He continued his education, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1977. While at UMass, he remained active in sports through the university’s intramural program.
In February of 1978, Paul was first employed by the City of Woburn in the Department of Public Works. Shortly thereafter, he became a Reserve Police Officer for the City of Woburn. In 1982 he was appointed a fulltime Police Officer. Paul rose quickly through the ranks and was promoted to Sergeant in August of 1987. At that time, he had just graduated from the Babson Command Training Program. Paul was a natural leader and well respected by his fellow officers. He received several letters of commendation over his career, including one for the capture of an armed robbery suspect from the Central Bank, across from St. Charles Church, in 1996. Sgt. Connolly was a longtime member of the Woburn Honor Guard and became the Officer in Charge following Sgt. Walter Callahan’s retirement in 2006. Also at that time, he was appointed the Traffic Sergeant and was responsible for Crossing Guards, fatal accidents, traffic control reporting, the Woburn Traffic Commission, and other various duties. In addition to his police duties, Paul also functioned as the Head Coach and Captain of the Woburn Police Softball Team for well over 10 years, and led them to many a championship.
Along with his dedication as a Police Officer, Paul was equally devoted to those he loved. He is the proud father of four children, and for the past seven years has resided in Wilmington with his adored partner, Denise Sweeney and her three children. He enjoyed spending summers at Hampton Beach as a child and this continued throughout his life. During the winter months Paul would often head for the hills in New Hampshire and Vermont, enjoying the slopes with his children.
Paul was a true gentleman in every sense. With his gregarious personality and an extraordinary intelligence, he easily connected with people and loved a good conversation.
Throughout his life, Paul was a true sports enthusiast. He was longtime Woburn Pop Warner football coach, working with the youth of Woburn. A few years ago, he was asked to join the staff of the Woburn High School football program. He went from coaching the Junior Varsity Team to, just this year, becoming the Offensive Coordinator for the varsity team, and was extremely proud of this new position. The Woburn High baseball team also received great benefit from Paul as he also managed to assist in this sport.
“Sarge,” as he was respectfully known by his brother officers, will be remembered as one of the finest officers on the department. He had a heart of gold and one of his greatest joys in life was giving back to his community. There is not an officer on the Woburn Police Department, or person who knew “Sarge,” that does not share in the loss and sadness of this fine man. God bless you, Paul.
Paul was predeceased by his parents, Paul L., Sr. and Eleanor R. (Downey) Connolly and his sister, Sharon E. Connolly.
He is lovingly survived by his children, John P. “JP,” Douglas A., Shannon L. and Rachel L. Connolly, all of Woburn, his sister, Claire T. Kessaris and her husband Kenneth Jr., of Woburn, and his partner, Denise Sweeney and her children , Kelliane, Kyle, and Ryan Sweeney, all of Wilmington.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Charles Church, 280 Main St., Woburn on Saturday, October 2nd, at 11:30 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Interment will be private.
Calling hours at the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, will be on Friday from 3 to 8 p.m.
Donations may be made to the Woburn Memorial High School Scholarship Fund, P.O Box 202, Woburn, MA 01801 in memory of Sgt. Paul L. Connolly, Jr.