James William Connelly Sr.

CONNELLY, JAMES WILLIAM SR., 89, passed away on Tuesday, February 5, 2013.

Bill was born in Nebo, KY to David and Bessie Connelly. Bill served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was a Murray State graduate where he played baseball. Bill was married to Marjorie Sommers in 1949 and they had 2 children, Bill Jr., who passed away in 1997, and John (Butch). Bill and Marge enjoyed 50 years of marriage before her death in 2000. Bill was the owner and CEO of Platolene 500, Inc., a chain of 40 gas stations and convenience stores in southern Illinois.

He was a former City Commissioner in Mattoon, IL; former State Director of Babe Ruth baseball. Bill was a National USTA Chair Umpire who worked the chair in several U.S. Opens and received the 1986 National USTA Community Service Award for his contributions to grass-root tennis programs in southern Illinois. Along with his passion for tennis, he loved golf, dancing, photography, and above all his family - Bill will be greatly missed. Bill is survived by his loving son John, his beloved daughter-in-law Jan and his three adoring grandsons: David, Corey and Alex, all currently at NYU Law.


Published in The Courier-Journal on Feb. 8, 2013