Sgt. Paul L. Connolly. Jr., Woburn PD

September 29, 2010

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.

OBITUARY:

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.

Guestbook

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  1. Dear Denise & Claire..
    I am so sorry to hear about your loss..my thoughts and prayers are with you all..
    Linda (Raso) Forester

  2. My son had the deepest respect for his coach. What a loss for the Woburn Police Department, Pop-Warner Football, The City of Woburn.
    My deepest sympathy to the family. God Bless.

    Donna, Stephen, Jessica Schenkel

  3. To Denise, Kellianne, Kyle, & Ryan
    Our thoughts are with you all. Try to remember the good times that we all had with Paul. Denise, there was always a sparkle in your eyes and in Paul’s eyes when you were together. We will miss him very much, and please remember we are here for you.
    Love you all.
    John & Carol McGinn

  4. Denise and Family,

    Denise, I was so, so sorry to hear about Paul and for this great loss. While I did not know him well, my memories of talking with him during our Pop Warner years always brought a smile to my face. He was such a warm and caring person and someone who always made you feel good. I am here for you if you need anything, Denise.

    Fondly, Carolyn & Jeff Priem and family

  5. Patricia Maguire Keenan
    My deepest sympanthy to the entire Connolly family. You all are in my thoughts and prayers. May he now rest in peace.
    Patricia Keenan
    McLean, VA

  6. Daughter of deceased officer Charles Lentini. My heart is with his family, Especially Rachel. Its amazing to have a dad who’s a hero. JP, I know he was extremely proud of you, for he told me himself a few weeks ago. I am proud of you. Your dad was an amazing man, and gave me comforting words when my dad had passed. Now is the time to hang on to your family, and friends. Im sure my dad and him are having some good laughs together, and still protecting us from above. – Candice Lentini

  7. From: The Mozuch Family

    To the Connolly Family, especially Shannon and Rachel;

    Our hearts are saddened to hear of your dad’s passing. Keep your memories of him close to your heart to help you through these tough times.

    God Bless,
    Donna, Gary, Courtney & Brittany
    Mozuch

  8. ALL MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS BE WITH YOU!
    Good man, good coach, good friend.
    You will be greatly missed.
    Paul Taylor

  9. Ryan and Family,

    So sorry to hear about your Dad, I’m here for you !!!
    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers – forever

  10. We are so sorry to hear the sad news. God bless him. He was a good man.
    Our apologies that we are unable to be with you. Please know we will keep you in our prayers.
    Peace to you in the difficult days ahead.

    Irene and Joe Simas

  11. Bob Vassallo

    Paul, you will be (already) greatly missed. Your humor and warmth were infectious. Our family, your family, the city of Woburn and its youth have suffered a great loss with your passing. We take comfort knowing that you and my dad are kicking back again like old times sharing police tales and inside jokes.

  12. Although I never met Sgt Connolly, I can attest to the kind of man he was, as I can see it in his amazing son JP. JP no words can dull the pain, but just know that you’ve got the most amazing support group surrounding you and we’re all here for you for whatever you may need in the coming days, weeks, and months. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  13. To Paul’s family & loved ones,
    Your hearts have lost a truly good person. Paul is now a treasure you can hold in your hearts and he will always be close and as he stood watch over the City of Woburn, he now stands watch over you from heaven.
    God Bless
    Linda & Phil Mahoney

  14. Dear Connolly Family,

    Having known and loved Doug for several years, we realize what a special man his father must have been.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    Bob & Gail Walsh and family

  15. Patty Ann
    Claire no words can express the sympathy for you and Paul’s family.

    Yesterday my thoughts were of the brief times I spent with you and your brother “baby sitting”. I remember corn chowder your Mom would have me make…can of corn and milk. At that time you guys loved it. Its these happy times that we should remember.

    Love ….your older cousin…

  16. To the Connolly family:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Over the years, I have had the pleasure and fortune of knowing/ playing under Paul. He was one of my most influential mentors. He was a man of honor, strength, and charisma. The lessons I learned from Sgt. Connolly are those that will never be forgotten. Although it hurts me to know that Paul has passed, I know he will live on in our hearts. I wish you the deepest sympathies in this time of grief.

    With love,
    Brian J. Teague

  17. I didnt know Paul and I don’t think that I know the family at all…I just felt compelled to tell you how sad this is….My daughter is a junior at WMHS and she came home and told me what, relatively little, she knew and I told her that all she could do was to pray for all of you….and thats what I’m doing…..my heart goes out to all of you…I’m so sorry for your loss.

  18. Claire:

    Bobby, Nicole and I are thinking of you and will keep you in our prays. If we can do anything please call us. God bless you.

  19. Connolly Family ~ you are all in my thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time. Words can not express my sorrow. Kristen Chute-Johnson

  20. I am the widow of Paul Waisnor. I’m very sorry for your loss. He’s now with my Paul and I’m sure they’ll have lots to talk about. He’s in good hands now.

    My deepest sympathy,
    Kimberly Waisnor

  21. Connolly family,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    The ones we love are never gone, they live within our hearts.

    Always remember Paul’s laughter and smilies. We will all miss you.

    May you know peace and comfort.

    God Bless,

    Charlie & Sandy Culhane

  22. Dear Denise,
    My heart is breaking for you and your children and for Paul’s children. I wish to express our deepest sympathy and extend our love to you all.

    Ever in our hearts,
    Diane and Jeff Lanzillo and family

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