Pioneering manufactures’ rep passes away

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. — Thomas H. Connolly, founder of Thomas H. Connolly and Sons Inc., passed away Sunday, June 12, 2011. He was 91.

His company prides itself on being “the first and oldest Marine Manufacturers sales agency in America.”

Connolly was a graduate of St. Peter’s College in Jersey City and served his country in the United States Navy aboard the minesweeper USS Pilot during the Pacific Theater.

Founding his business took many years of hard work, according to a statement from his family:

“He would drive over 50,000 mile per year for many years to feed the family and grow the business. These were hard miles driven before the ‘new’ interstate highway system. There were times during those early years when he slept in the car, and ate baby food out of a jar, to save on travel expenses. One night, without a single cent in his pocket, he used stamps to purchase the gas he needed to continue his work. He had it down to a science, bringing every penny home. His integrity and hard work grew that single job into Thomas H. Connolly & Sons Inc. Currently this multi-million dollar company is owned by Paul & David Connolly and two other partners who have grown it three fold.”

He is survived by his wife, Helen; his children, Dr. Helen “Sue” Watt (Dr. William Watt), Dr. Tom Connolly (Katherine), Kate Chepucavage (Peter Chepucavage Esq.), Dr. Chris Connolly (Susan), Paul Connolly (Rita) and David Connolly (Mary). Connolly also leaves twenty-one grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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