His Bright Irish Smile
There was something abut John Connolly, known to his friends as Jack, that made people want to be his friend. "He was a regular guy who loved people, loved life, lived for the minute," said his wife, Dawn. She has a snapshot memory of the first time the two met in a Forest Avenue pub on Staten Island. "I went up there with my cousin, and he just caught my eye with his blue eyes and bright Irish smile," she said. "I would always say we met through my cousin, and he would say we met in a bar."
Mr. Connolly, 46, was originally from Staten Island, but about six years ago, he moved the family to Allenwood, N.J. There, he would get up at 3.30 a.m. to drive to Manhattan and park his car beneath the World Trade Center, where he worked for Euro Brokers. His job in those dawn hours was to talk to London and Tokyo, where he made yet more friends. He would get home by midafternoon, in time to coach his children's sports teams and tend to his beloved lawn. Sometimes, the children ‹ Dineen, 11, John, 8, and Patrick, 6 ‹ would tuck him into bed, rather than the other way around.
Every Thanksgiving, he would go back to Staten Island to rejoin high school friends for a touch football game and every Christmas, the Connollys would host a party for about 90 friends, where Jack was known to do Meat Loaf impersonations.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 3, 2001.