1971 - 2016
Aaron Connelly, 45, of Eugene, Oregon, died June 4, 2016 in the waters of the Pacific Ocean near Port Orford, Oregon due to suicide.
Aaron was born on February 18, 1971, in Seattle, Washington, to Kathryn Ann Bennett and Richard Charles Connelly. He grew up in Minnesota and various towns in Oregon and California. He was lucky to have spent his middle school years with his late grandmother and grandfather, Betty and Daniel Connelly, whom he loved very much. He met his future wife, Wendy Lee Bell, at Crater Lake National Park where they were both employed at the tender age of 18. Aaron and Wendy married in 1994 and began their family with the birth of their first child, Adelaide Brighid Connelly in 1995. Jonah Daniel Quinn Connelly followed shortly after in 1996 and Olivia Fiona Connelly completed the package in 2003. Aaron adored all of his children and considered them his greatest blessing.
Aaron worked in the woods in his younger years and was involved in a variety of forest-related jobs, of which tree-planting was his favorite. It was strenuous work but Aaron was proud of his strength and speed. Later he learned the carpentry trade and worked at Meili Construction for many years as a framer. More recently Aaron worked as a truck driver for McDonald Wholesale. This was Aaron's favorite job to date, still hard work, but not nearly as demanding as framing (or tree planting!). Delivering to the same customers each week allowed Aaron to develop relationships with the many people he served and he was loved and respected by all.
Aaron dedicated his life to Jesus when he and Wendy were expecting their third child, Olivia. Their oldest daughter, Adelaide, was having daily seizures up until Olivia's birth. Aaron always attributed the relief of those seizures to God's love and mercy.
During his early years as a Christian, Aaron learned much from Dr Bill Page, friend and beloved (former) pastor at Pleasant Hill Baptist church. He also loved his church family at the Beautiful Mess, especially those who were part of his home fellowship group. Aaron's favorite scripture was Ephesians 4:20-24. He made great strides to put off his old self, renew his mind, and become more like our creator. However, we all fall short of this, and, sadly, Aaron could not accept that for himself.
Aaron had a quick wit and loved to laugh and make others laugh. It was awfully hard not to when he was saying something funny, smiling widely, eyes twinkling, willing you to crack up. Aaron knew how to play hard and basketball was his favorite game. His son once told him his moves were "Tony Parker-ish"; he wore a permanent grin for a week. Aaron could be found playing ball at the local Montessori school several times a week. He is surely missed by his fellow ballers.
Nothing brought Aaron more joy, however, than his family. Not five minutes after his first child was born, Aaron said, "Let's have another one right away!" He WAS a funny guy, ha?
Aaron will be so missed. He was so much to so many. He is survived by his wife, Wendy; children, Adelaide, Jonah, and Olivia; his mother, Kathryn Roberts; father, Richard Connelly (Janice); his brother, Andy (Rebecca), and a large, loving extended family.
A memorial will be held at 2:00 on Saturday, July 23, 2016, at the Grace Fellowship Church located at 834 Monroe St., Eugene.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) of Eugene.
Published in Eugene Register-Guard from Jul. 17 to Jul. 20, 2016.