371 Hooker Avenue | Poughkeepsie, New York | 12603
Obituary of Richard Connolly
However, this brief account can only capture a fraction of his story. Summarizing our dad’s life in half a page is an impossible task. Dad was born on
February 22, 1963, in Manhattan, NY, to parents Roger and Ann (Corcoran) Connolly. When he was about 8 years old, he and his family moved out of the
city and settled in the Arlington School District. It was at this school where he formed lifelong friendships. He spent his time with neighborhood kids on Sleight
Plass Rd. Dad was not only an active athlete, playing on the LaGrange Basketball Team, wrestling, and participating in football, but he was also
an enterprising young man during weekends, making money in various ways, including organizing keg parties. Richard John Connolly, the hard-headed Irishman, lived a remarkable life.
Described as wild and a madman, Dad and his brother eventually became corrections officers together. People fondly remember Dad for his contagious
energy, smile, and laughter. His “won’t take shit from no one” attitude made others want to stand by his side. Dad possessed a unique talent for storytelling,
captivating listeners and making them feel as though they were experiencing the stories firsthand.
After his time in the corrections facility, Dad enlisted in the army, where he became a Special Forces Green Beret. His pride and passion for serving in the
United States Army were immeasurable, until, shortly after, we, his four children —Devlin Keegan, Taran Killian, Quentin John, and Kelsea Rayne—were born.
Having children was one of the most incredible adventures in Dad’s life, surpassing even his experiences jumping out of planes and traveling to Honduras,
Bolivia, Panama, Mali, and various other places during his military service. After becoming a father, people noticed a change in Dad. While he remained wild
at heart, something had shifted within him.
On September 8, 2001, just three days before the tragic events of 9/11, our dad experienced a life-altering incident during a live ammunition training
exercise. He was shot twice in the head, and he described being in the “Valley of Death” during this ordeal. It was in this moment that he saw his children and found the strength to pull through for them. Dad maintained his faith throughout, often saying, “the big man has jokes.” This accident left him paralyzed on his left side, and he had to relearn how to perform almost every task. Additionally, he lost vision in the left side of each eye, a rare medical occurrence that required specially crafted glasses. Doctors informed Dad that he would never walk or drive again. Kelsea recalls waking up one night to find the rest of us watching our dad playing Need for Speed with a custom-made controller. Dad remained steadfast in his belief that he would walk and drive once more. He attended physical therapy multiple times a week and took driving lessons.
Dad embraced the challenge of people underestimating him, as it provided an opportunity to prove them wrong.He will be deeply missed by all who knew him, and his memory will continue
to live on through his children, siblings, stories, and cherished memories. In the hearts of all who knew him, Richard John Connolly's indomitable spirit and
unwavering determination left an indelible mark. As we bid our final farewell, we celebrate the man who defied odds, a loving father and friend,
inspiring us to never give up in the face of adversity. His legacy lives on, carried by the love he shared, the stories he told, and the countless lives he touched. Thank you, Dad.
To the Hyde Park Police Department:
Our family, fully aware of the emotional challenges faced by the officers of the
Hyde Park Police Department who arrived on the scene to care for and
support our father, extends our deepest respect and gratitude. Our prayers are
Calling hours will be held from 4pm till 8pm on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at Timothy P. Doyle Funeral Home, 371 Hooker Ave, Poughkepsie N.Y. A Christian Burial Mass will take place on Wednesday, November 8, at 10:00 at Holy Trinity Church in Poughkeepsie N.Y
In lieu of flowers the family would ask to make a donate to the Wounded Warriors program. Thank you!