Allegany - James Neil Connelly "Loving Husband, Father, and Grandfather"
James Neil Connelly, of 3965 Old State Road, passed away on Friday, August 9, 2019, at his home, surrounded by his wife and children.
Jim was born on Sept. 8, 1951 in Olean and was a son of Francis P. and Ann M. Cullather Connelly. On Aug. 14, 1971, at St. Bonaventure Parish, he married his wife of almost 48 years, Dianna J. Jenkins, who survives.
Jim was a 1970 graduate of Olean High School. He began working for the Olean Police Department in September 1971 and retired in December 2006 as Police Captain after 35 years. During his career, he ws head of the Criminal Investigation Unit, as well as, the Emergency Response Team. He also served as an arson investigator, hostage negotiator, use-of-force instructor, and range officer. Jim also spent many years as the Chairman of the Dempsey Club 4th of July Fireworks. After his retirement, Jim worked for the Franklinville Police Department as a Criminal Investigator, as well as, an Investigator for Dwyer, Black, & Lyle from 2006 to 2016.
During his life, Jim belonged to many organizations including the Elks, Eagles, Ancient Order of the Hibernians, Weston Mills fire Department, and the Allegany Police Department. He also spent many years a volunteer and coach with the Olean Area You Hockey Association and Olean Girls Softball.
Jim was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. His grandchildren were the "apple of his eye" and there was nothing he loved more than spending time with them. Jim loved the outdoors, especially gardening, hunting, boating, and fishing. He looked forward to hunting camp every year as well as his annual fishing trip with the "Canada Fishing Crew" and the Ice Fishing derby. Jim was a devoted fan of the New York Yankees, the Buffalo Sabres, and the Buffalo Bills, who he continued to love even after attending two Super Bowls where he watched them lose. He enjoyed yearly trips to Sunset Beach, North Carolina and Lake George, also visiting New York City, especially at Christmastime.
Along with his loving wife, James is survived by; 3 children, Cyndi M. (John) Proctor of Olean, Christopher "CJ" Connelly of Allegany, and Traci L. (Sean) Stevenson of River Vale, NJ; 8 grandchildren, Corri, Chloe, and Connor Proctor, Kamille and Christopher Connelly, Jenna Trask, and Casey and Zoe Stevenson; a brother, Francis M (Linda) Connelly of Olean; 4 sisters, Elizabeth A. Connelly of Olean, Anne M. (Tim) Angora of Rochester, Maureen (Edwin) Negron, and Kathleen T. Connelly both of Olean; and many nieces and nephews.
James was predeceased by; 2 grandchildren, Brent Michael Connelly on February 28, 2003 and Sadi Rae Griffin on September 15, 2013; 3 brothers, Patrick J. Connelly on October 2, 2004, Joseph J. Connelly on December 24, 1992, and Paul A. Connelly on July 4, 2009.
Friends will be received at the Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, 646 East State Street, Olean on Sunday, August 11, 2019 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the St. John's Roman Catholic Church, 931 North Union Street, Olean on Monday, August 12, 2019 at 11:00 am. Burial will be at St. Bonaventure Cemetery in Allegany.
In lieu of flowers, Memorials may be made to the Olean Fire Department, C/O 4th of July Fireworks, 542 North Union Street, Olean, New York 14760 or to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Division of Pediatric Oncology, One Children's Hospital Drive, 4401 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15224. Online condolences may be made at www.LetroMcIntoshSpinkFuneralHome.com