His Funeral Mass will be made available through ZOOM, on Friday, June 12th at 10 a.m.
Zoom ID: 745-456-9017
Joseph E. Connolly – of NYC, formerly of Woburn, unexpectedly June 5th. Beloved son of the late P. Joseph and Kathryn M. (McNaney) Connolly. Loving brother of Judy Dinneen, her husband James FX Dinneen of Duxbury, Kevin P. Connolly, his wife Sharon McKeon Connolly of Woburn and Kathleen Ruane, her late husband William L. Ruane Jr. of Belmont. Longtime cherished partner Francois Farges of Paris, France. Truly devoted uncle of James J. Dinneen, his wife Jacklyn Dinneen of Duxbury, Brian P. Dinneen, his wife Kathryn Dinneen of Duxbury, Mark T. Dinneen, his wife Elizabeth Dinneen of Boston, Michael F. Dinneen of Duxbury, Allison C. Ruane, Matthew W. Ruane and Kristen P. Ruane all of Boston, Patrick C. Connolly of Cambridge, Maura C. Connolly of San Diego, CA and Christopher C. Connolly of Seattle, WA. Also survived by great nieces and nephews Vail, Boden, Heidi, James and Eryn Dinneen as well as many friends. At this time, services are pending and will be updated Monday. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Joe’s memory to the Woburn Public Library, 45 Pleasant Street, Woburn, MA 01801.
Please know that this written tribute should be free of the word, “awesome” – after all, friends, to use the word appropriately, it must be attributed to something that will leave you “full of awe” and that, in life, is rare. This rumination was one of many from US Commissioner Joseph Edward Connolly. He was one of a kind and his passing on Friday, June 5, 2020 at the age of 69 will leave a gap in the lives of many both here in the US and abroad. Joe Connolly was a devoted son, brother, partner, uncle, and great-uncle. He was a true intellectual and scholar, specializing in the areas of Isamic Banking and Global Finance. He was a historian, a linguist, and an etymologist (which is why the word “awesome” was quickly eliminated from the vocabularies of his relatives after its popularization in the 1990s). He was an internationalist, a banker, and a patron of the arts and libraries. Joe was an educator and mentor, a brilliant writer, and a voracious reader. He was a life-long Democrat who loved to incite his most liberal friends and relatives by playing “the role” of a conservative in his communications. He was quick-witted, hilarious, and, in true eldest-child-form, a complete and utter tease. Joe was deeply faithful and an extremely generous person. He never forgot his hometown of Woburn, Massachusetts despite his worldwide travels and residences abroad. He recognized all that Woburn gave him in his life and he sought to repay the community at every possible turn.
Joseph E. Connolly was born on June 15, 1950 in Woburn to Patrick Joseph (“Joe”) Connolly and Kathryn McNaney (“Kay”) Connolly. To his delight, Joe was the oldest of four children who grew up across the street from Woburn Memorial High School. He thrived at WMHS serving as student council president. Joe studied as an undergraduate at Cornell University, departing Ithaca in 1972 with a BA (with highest honors) in Government and History. The very next year he enrolled at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business Administration. He graduated in 1975 with an MBA in International Finance and Marketing. Over the next thirty years, Joe’s professional life took the form of working in international banking. He would start his career with the Continental Illinois National Bank in Chicago before working for the First National Bank of Boston, Moody’s Investor Services, the Fitch Investor Service/EuroRatings Ltd., and Citigroup/Citicorp/Citibank. These positions would keep him primarily between the cities of New York and London for twenty years time. The year 2000 would find Joe in Zurich working for the Union Bank of Switzerland before making a significant career shift in 2003. Joe’s post at the Richmond American International University in London would launch a nearly twenty year career in education.
Joe was a trustee and guest lecturer at the Richmond American International University in London until 2010. His experience at the university inspired him to seek and secure other visiting professorships at the American University in Cairo, Fordham University, the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chausees, and the Sorbonne. He was on the Advisory Board of Scholar Rescue (which supports scholars whose lives and work are threatened in their home countries) and a published author.
In 2012, Joe was elected to the position of Trustee and Director of the Board of the Association of MBA Schools. In that same year, he was named Commissioner for the Public within the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. In this role, Commissioner Connolly performed (re-)accreditation visits to institutions in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, DC as well as American institutions abroad that are classified as Delaware corporations.
Joe – with a full plate professionally – still made time for boards, causes, and people near and dear to his heart. He was an active member within the Harvard Clubs of New York, Boston, and London. At the Harvard Club of New York, Joe served on the Library Board and the Arts and Architecture Board. He continued to be an advisor for the Scholar Rescue fund. He was a benefactor of public libraries in Duxbury, Massachusetts as well as his beloved Woburn. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Woburn Public Library (45 Pleasant St. Woburn, MA 01801) in memory of Joe.
Joe never boasted about his professional record and was able to put his work aside while spending time with friends and family. We remember him as a loving, curious, trouble-maker who sometimes even signed off on his famous, over-the-top correspondences as “Joey Badass.” Joe is survived by his sister Judy Dinneen, and her husband James FX Dinneen of Duxbury; his brother Kevin P. Connolly, and his wife Sharon of Woburn; and his sister Kathleen Ruane of Belmont; his longtime cherished partner Francois Farges of Paris, France; his nephew and dear friend James J. Dinneen, and his wife Jacklyn of Duxbury; his nephew Brian P. Dinneen, and his wife Kathryn of Duxbury; his nephew Mark T. Dinneen, and his wife Elizabeth of Boston; his nephew Michael FX Dinneen of Duxbury; his niece Allison C. Ruane, his nephew Matthew W. Ruane and his niece Kristen P. Ruane all of Boston; his nephew Patrick C. Connolly of Cambridge; his niece and favorite correspondent Maura C. Connolly of San Diego, CA; and his nephew Christopher C. Connolly of Seattle, WA. Joe is also survived by great nieces and nephews Vail, Boden, Heidi, James and Eryn Dinneen as well as many friends. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, services will be private; however, there is an online guestbook at Lynch-Cantillon at https://lynch-cantillon.com/obituaries/2020/06/05/joseph-e-connolly/
Oncle Joe – “Joey Badass” – your career, your manner, your life was “awe-inspiring” (your preferred term) if not truly awesome.
Service arrangements pending, please check back soon.