Obituary: Michael J. Connelly, Sr.

Michael J. Connelly, Sr., at 76
Michael John Connelly, Sr. was born in Boston on Oct. 4, 1940. A Hull resident, he died of a heart attack on Friday, July 21. 
Mr. Connelly was the oldest child of Genevieve and John Connelly, a principal with Boston schools. He grew up in Dorchester and joined the Air Force during the Vietnam War, but was honorably discharged because of asthma.
Mr. Connelly raised his family in Quincy. He worked on computer guidance systems for rockets at Draper Laboratory, which was affiliated with MIT in Cambridge. He was predeceased by his wife, Kathleen Kelly, and oldest son, Michael John Connelly, Jr. His second son, Mark Pedrelli, is married to Robin Pedrelli. They live in Natick with their three sons, Leo, Lucas, and Simon Michael. Mr. Connelly’s daughter, Heather Mariacher, lives in Charlton. He dearly loved his family.
Mr. Connelly moved to Hull, where he met Judeth Van Hamm, his life partner for 31 years. After leaving Draper Laboratory, he worked as the keeper at the Hull Lifesaving Museum, where he enjoyed sharing Hull’s lifesaving history with visitors. He retired from the museum when Ms. Van Hamm’s focus moved on to saving the Paragon Carousel. 
Mr. Connelly continued his interest in electronics. He and Ms. Van Hamm began riding electric bicycles. Sometimes he brought his dog Gold for a ride in a “chariot” pulled by his electric bike. After then state senator Robert Hedlund was successful in obtaining a law to allow low speed vehicles in Massachusetts, the pair acquired a Club Car Villager that looks like a golf cart and a Club Car Carryall, a utility vehicle, which Mr. Connelly was frequently seen driving in Hull, including on weekly shopping trips to Riddle’s Supermart, Nantasket Paint and Hardware, and Nantasket Pharmacy in Kenberma.
The pair shared a belief in God and a love of the beauty of Hull, classical music, and delicious organic food. Mr. Connelly felt the most important things in life were love and gratitude. He enjoyed hosting guests at their home on Hullportside Street, which he named. 
Mr. Connelly loved his partner’s sons: Brook Wiers, who is travelling, and Blake Wiers and his wife, Deborah Thomas Wiers, of San Francisco. 
There will be a gathering to share memories of Michael Connelly at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 3, at the Hull Lifesaving Museum, 1117 Nantasket Ave. You might like to bring food to share and perhaps wear something gold or yellow, his favorite color. 
Call Judeth Van Hamm at 781 925-5665 for more information. Look for a brick remembering Michael at the Paragon Carousel.