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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bob Connelly - Dec 24, 1947 - Dec 23, 2015

My precious husband and partner, Bob Connelly died last week, December 23, 2015, after a 2-year battle with cancer. He was a local award-winning Photographer, having been selected for exhibits at Delaware Art Museum and the Biggs Museum of American Art, Arts advocate - recently chosen for the board of the Delaware Arts Council, Vice President of the the Board of Second Street Players, tireless volunteer in Milford who served on the board of Mispillion Art League, the Economic Development Committee and the Bug and Bud Committee and volunteered with Downtown Milford Inc wherever help was needed. 

He was instrumental in Second Street Players receiving a sizable grant from the Longwood Foundation and put his own sweat and muscle into making much needed repairs to the Riverfront Theater. He was the driving force behind MaRT - Movies at Riverfront Theater showing second-run films in English and in Spanish, for Milford's hispanic population. Recognizing and celebrating diversity was another of his passions.

A Vietnam veteran, he was a professional firefighter for 25 years, attained the rank of Captain and was a member of the Hazardous Materials Team and, after retiring, taught high school students Photography and touched the lives of many. He earned a BA in Photography from Arizona State University at the age of 50. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for Teachers and spent a month in the Czech and Slovak Republics.

Together we espoused the motto to "live cheap and make art" - having lived in Italy for two years after retiring in our mid-50s. He learned the language (in a rudimentary way!) and made friends wherever he went. The goal of his life and mine has been to live a simple life, focused more on experiences than materials things and he lived life to the fullest, enjoying each day. Our studio of the same name will continue to exhibit his breathtaking photography.

His latest cause was to try to bring attention to the Death with Dignity bill that is floundering in Delaware's legislature but that he felt could help so many. The Milford Chronicle published an interview with him about this cause that appeared in the paper the day he died peacefully and with the dignity he deserved, one day before his 68th birthday

Donations in his name can be made to Second Street Players Lobby Expansion Program, something he was passionate about. Checks should be written to Second Street Players, c/o Dan Marabello, Treasurer, 2 S. Walnut St., Milford, Delaware 19963. Visit their website at http://www.secondstreetplayers.com.