Jacquelyn ConnollyJanuary 23, 1927 ~ February 8, 2018 (age 91)
To her husband, Jack, she was, to borrow from Wordsworth, “a Phantom of Delight. “
Jacquelyn Wharton Connolly was born to Thomas Popkins Wharton and Freda Leota Swinsky in St. Petersburg, Florida, on January 23, 1927. The families frequent moving in the early days of the Great Depression, Virginia, Washington DC, New York, Chicago and finally back to her mother’s home town of Dallas left Jackie with absolutely no desire for travel the rest of her life. In the depths of the Depression she was sent to live with her aunt in Mission, Texas. It was hard on a little girl who had only seen this relative once before, but through a showering of love from her Aunt Ida, Uncle Roy and the kindness of her cousin Katherine and the making of lifelong friends, the eventual move back to Dallas was almost as difficult as the move from Dallas had been. In her school days in Dallas, Jackie attended Lipscomb and Woodrow Wilson and, for a short time, SMU.
Jackie had 3 children from a first marriage, always remaining on very good terms with her children’s father, and indeed they grew to be good friends until his passing. In 1959 Jackie became reacquainted with Jack Connolly, who was 2 years ahead of her at both Lipscomb and Woodrow Wilson and whose family owned Connolly’s Camera Store in the Lakewood section of Dallas, which she had frequented dating back to her teens. Jackie and Jack began dating and declared to each other that neither would ever marry again. One year later they were married and moved with Jack’s job, Delhi pipeline, later to become Texas Oil and Gas, back to the Valley. Jackie said the happiest times of her life were spent those few years on the Benavides ranch outside of the little town of Lopeno in Zapata County.
Transferred by his company in 1963, Jack and Jackie and their now four children moved to Corpus Christi and welcomed a fifth child a few years later. Aside from the occasional trips to the Valley or to Virginia to visit family and yearly trips to Dallas, Jackie was happiest just staying home , where she stayed busy raising the family with Jack until his passing in 1981. Throughout her adult life, Jackie was active in numerous organizations and clubs including New Neighbors, DAR, Red Cross, the Nautilus Study Club, Presidents Council, the Museum Advisory Board to name a few until, getting up in years, it was time to slow down.
Most everyone who knew her has a “Jackie story “, whether it be funny or sweet or both. Jackie saw good in everyone and was the type of person who had to be told by one of her children, “Mom, you’re supposed to try and bargain the repair man down not up! “
It’s rarely possible sum up a person’s life in a few lines and this attempt surely does not but this short story may give a hint. In the early 1970s Jackie was at the airport preparing to fly to Dallas for family visit. As she stood in the ticket line behind a young man holding a guitar case, his wife at his side holding a baby, she overheard him telling the ticket agent he was a gospel singer and needed to get to a job. The agent told him she was sorry, but she couldn’t accept a two-party check. Jackie apologized for overhearing, but told the agent she would pay for the young man’s ticket and turned to him and said “, you can just pay me back when you get home from your job. “ A few weeks later a check arrived in the mail, along with a gospel album the young man had recorded. That was Jackie.
Jackie Connolly passed away February 8, 2018 in her home with her family around her. In a note written years before, she admonished her son, “Don’t you dare spend money on an expensive funeral! I’m donating my body to science! ”
And so she did.
Jackie was predeceased by her parents, her husband Jack, her son Kevin McKinney and her grandsons, William L. Holmes and C. Grey Holmes. She is survived by her children, Priscilla Reger, Pamela (Stephan) Cooper, Dion (Maneerat) Connolly, Sean Connolly and grandchildren Conner Connolly and Jacquelyn Nim Connolly and her great-grandson Stuart Holmes.
A Memorial Service will be held at Seaside Memorial Park in the Reid Chapel at 10 AM on Saturday, February 24, 2018.
Jackie loved flowers. She loved donating to charity and doing good deeds even more.
Jackie’s family would like to thank everyone at New Century Hospice for their help.