CONNELLY, Mary "Terry", of Homosassa, an award-winning journalist and U.S. Navy veteran, died Friday, June 29, 2012. She was 80. She was born in Bloomfield, N.J., the daughter of William J. Connelly and Agnes O'Malley. She graduated from Our Lady of the Valley High School before joining the Navy in 1952. She remained a member of the service on active duty and as a member of the Naval Ready Reserve during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Simultaneously, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Seabury School of Liberal Arts after a 10-year pursuit that included courses from the U.S. Armed Forces Institute and Jacksonville (Florida) University. While in the Navy, she switched from radio communications to journalism. Following the Navy she joined the staff of the Newark Evening News and, after its demise in 1972, she became a news staff member of the Newark Star Ledger. In 1967, she was awarded first place by the New Jersey Daily Newspaper Women's Association for spot news coverage for her story on the air taxi crash at the Red Bank Airport. In 1978 she moved to Tampa, and became city editor of the now defunct Clearwateer Sun. She then retained a position as night city editor with the now defunct Tampa (evening) Times. In 1990 she retired to Homosassa and worked as a desk editor at the Citrus Chronicle. She was a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the National Federation of Press Women, the New Jersey Daily Newspaper Women, a charter member of the Tampa Bay Press Club and the Florida Freelance Writers' Association. She was also a board member of the Tampa Diabetes Association and a 40-year member of the American Legion. She is survived by her dears friends, Maureen Sullivan of Homosassa and Raymond Sullivan of Houghton Lake, Michigan; cousins, Judy Kearney of Winter Garden, Robert and Jeanine Bullion of The Villages, Diane Dimick of Ewing, N.J., William, Lisa and Allison of Orlando and Kathleen Zorrer of Levittown, P.A.
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Published in TBO.com on July 9, 2012