PORT ALLEGANY - Brian A. Connolly, 66, passed away on Sunday (June 9, 2013) at Partners in Care Hospice in Bend, Ore.
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Born on Aug. 1, 1946, the son of the late Joseph and Alyce Connolly of Port Allegany, Mr. Connolly in his youth developed an abiding reverence for nature and wildlife, a passion he shared with so many - youth and adult - over the course of his life.
A graduate of Edinboro University, where he received the Finnegan Award for Poetry, he completed graduate work at State University of New York, Elmira College and UMass. Mr. Connolly became a project adventure teacher, and taught creative writing in New York public schools for 28 years before moving to Bend to write.
Published works include three titles set along the upper Allegheny River in northern Pennsylvania and on the Allegheny Plateau: Not Far From Town (2006), a collection of stories; Wolf Journal: A Novel (2001); and Hawk: A Novel (2007). Both Wolf Journal and Hawk, as well as a book for younger readers, Alphie: A Yellowstone Wolf Pup (2013), reflect Mr. Connolly's deep interest in the lives of wolves and their natural place in the ecosystem, a devotion that led him to spend several months every year in Yellowstone Park, studying their habits and sharing his knowledge with park visitors, cherished experiences that provided much inspiration for his writing.
Additionally, Mr. Connolly's short stories and poems have appeared in many literary magazines from Maine to Washington, and when his children were young, he and they collectively wrote Allegheny River Christmas & Other Storiesas Christmas gifts for family and friends. That collection was released in published form in 2007.
Mr. Connolly was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Alyce (Hoh) Connolly; sister Sharon Connolly; and brother Peter Connolly.
He is survived by son Nathan (Patricia) Connolly of Bend; daughter Heather Connolly Jerome (Josh) of Montpelier, Vt.; brother Michael (Mary Ann) Connolly of Pittsburg; sister Judith Connolly (Kathy Reynolds) of Oberlin, Ohio; and brother Christopher Connolly (Janie) of Cincinnati, Ohio; grandson Arlie Connolly of Bend; and granddaughters Sophia and Alyce Jerome of Montpelier.
A private service for family and close friends will be held in Yellowstone National Park and in Port Allegany at a later date.
Contributions may be made to Partners In Care, 2075 NE Wyatt Court, Bend, Oregon 97701, www.partnersbend.orgor Yellowstone Park Foundation, 222 East Main St. Site 301, Bozeman, MT 59715 (http://www.ypf.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home).
Local arrangements are under the direction of the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes Inc., Port Allegany.
Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes Inc.
105 North Main Street
Port Allegany, PA 16743
Published in The Bradford Era from June 25 to July 1, 2013