April 7, 2012


Catherine Connolly, at the QE2, 1991

Sadly, I just learned this today -- another member of our poetry community has gone to that big open mic in the sky. Below is the obituary appearing online; please go to the site & read the touching story there.

Catherine Connolly, at Borders, 1995

I first met Catherine when she was a young poet reading at the QE2 in 1991 & later at other venues around the area, such at the Boulevard Bookstore, Borders, the Palais Royale, Caffe Dolce in Troy, & others. I'm including 2 photos from those days, but sadly have no shots of her since her return to this area a few years ago.

Catherine Mary Connolly sailed away from this Earth on the evening of April 5, 2012, surrounded by her family and wrapped in all of her quilts. Her 42 years were filled with innumerable adventures, far more than most others would ever hope to enjoy.

Catherine had an incredible spirit, and each day she would awaken to impulsively choose the best that life had to offer. She loved to sleep late and never once met an alarm clock that she liked.

For more than four decades, she smiled, wrote poetry, traveled, drank, smoked, sailed, and spent every dime she ever earned. Catherine was generous, compassionate, and kind to all, except for people who ticked her off, and was well loved by scores of family members, friends and co-workers. She had a spontaneous wit, which was largely unedited, and would poke fun at anyone and anything. To say that she was irreverent is a huge understatement.

Catherine was a graduate of Clayton A. Bouton Junior-Senior High School in Voorheesville, New York. She then took seven years to earn a four-year degree in English and Women’s Studies from the University at Albany.

Catherine was a world traveler, having lived in England, where she worked on an archaeological dig. She lived in the Pacific Northwest and Corpus Christi, Texas, aboard her beloved boat, Madrona. She also lived in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Beaufort, North Carolina; and New York City, before returning to her hometown of Voorheesville, New York.

Catherine had countless friends all over the world, including the insane crew on Sailing Anarchy, many of whom she had never met in person. Her last wish was that people would remember her for her poetry, her compassion and kindness, and her humor.

She is survived by her parents, Kenneth J. and Diane Connolly, of Voorheesville, her sister, Christine Tolbert and brother-in-law, Doug, and nieces Molly and Audrey, and nephew, Alan of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania; her brother, Kevin Connolly, and sister-in-law, Megan, nephews, Zachary and Ethan, of Altamont; nephew Carson Adams, of Clifton Park; and niece Cloe Leininger, nephew-in-law Anthony, and great-niece Olivia, of Fort Lewis, Washington.

Catherine was fearless, and her final act while on this Earth was to smile before taking her last breath. Whatever she saw coming her way must have been absolutely wonderful. Look for her when you get there, she’ll be the one having a really good time.

As an avid reader and writer, it would have given great joy to Catherine to know that anyone who wishes honor her love of the written word would please give to the Voorheesville Public Library at 51 School Street, Voorheesville, New York, 12186.

As a thrill-seeking sailor, Catherine also found pleasure in sharing the joy of the wind and water with others, and anyone who wishes to honor her spirit of adventure would please give to the Spike Perry Memorial Scholarship Fund.org. The fund will provide scholarship money for deserving students from the Perry's hometown waters to learn more about sailing, seamanship and the region's rich maritime traditions.

A gathering of family and friends will be held on Saturday, April 14, 2012, from 2:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the American Legion Post 1493, at 31 Voorheesville Avenue, Voorheesville, New York. All are invited to join us to celebrate Catherine’s brief but remarkable life.


Rachel said...

So sorry to hear of this. Our circles were certainly interwoven during formative and creative years. Thanks for posting.

Jon Drucker said...

Damn. I remember Catherine from way back in Albany days. She kicked life right in the jomblies with an inscrutable, wry glee. Bad loss for this world.