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Ocala

Michael Joseph Connolly

Michael Joseph Connolly

Michael Joseph Connolly, formerly of Ocala and On Top of the World, died peaceably while sitting in the morning sun in hospice at Auberge at Vintage Lake in Houston, Texas on 1 November 2019, three weeks shy of his 90th birthday.

Born and raised in Queens, New York, Mike joined the U.S. Army immediately following high school and served as a non-commissioned officer with the 505th Airborne Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division from 1949-1952. A graduate of U.S. Army airborne, rigger, and glider schools, Mike attended the Armed Forces Information School as a Public Information Officer, and later served as Assistant Editor of the ‘Static Line,’ the 505th Airborne Infantry regimental newspaper.

In October 1952, Mike joined the IBM Corporation as a customer engineer, assigned to Manhattan, New York, and went on to serve thirty-three years with the company. After a succession of promotions to engineering territorial supervisor and field manager in Newark, New Jersey, in 1960 Mike was promoted to field associate engineer and assigned to the newly-opened SELECTRIC typewriter assembly plant in Lexington, Kentucky. Over the following two decades he held a variety of positions, rising to become superintendent of manufacturing.

With the entry of IBM into the desktop computer field in the early 1980’s, Mike transferred to Boca Raton, Florida, where he served as superintendent of printer and card manufacturing. He retired from IBM in 1985, and joined the SCI Corporation, a leading desktop computer circuit board manufacturer, as a Vice President in Arab, Alabama. During his tenure at SCI the National Management Association bestowed on Mike its ‘Silver Knight of Management’ award, one of its highest honors for management executives.

A volunteer firefighter for over sixty years, beginning with his service as a smokejumper while in the military, Mike began his career with the Levittown Volunteer Fire Department on Long Island, New York. He later served with the Lexington Fire Department in Lexington, Kentucky for over twenty years, where he rose to the rank of Chief of the Volunteers. In recognition of his leadership, Mike was commissioned as a ‘Kentucky Colonel’ by Governor Martha Layne Collins. During his twenty-seven years in Ocala, Florida, Mike was a member of the Marion County Fire Rescue Friendship Station 21, where he held positions as the Station Chief and as the District Battalion Chief for Volunteers.

An avid reader of military history, particularly World War II, Mike was a member of the Ocala chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association and attended many of its conventions.

Mike’s wife of sixty-six years, Joan Marilyn Connolly, died in December 2016.

He is survived by his son, Timothy George Connolly of Madison, Wisconsin; and daughters, Colleen C. Locker (Stuart) of Houston, Texas and Maureen C. Olson (Peter) of Sheridan, Wyoming. He is survived as well by four grandchildren, Kelly Moran (Ryan), Kristin Frank (David), Kelsey Amaya (Rey), and Peter Olson; and two great-grandchildren, Remington Amaya and Raleigh Frank.

Photos in Ocala, Florida

Crime

Man nabbed on multitude of charges when strike team raids Ocala residence

A man was arrested Wednesday when agents from the Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team and the Ocala Police Department’s SWAT team raided an Ocala residence.

Recently sprung Ocala man back in jail after rampage

A 33-year-old Ocala man who recently got out of jail was arrested again Monday after he allegedly went on a destructive rampage when his mother’s live-in boyfriend told him he had to move out.

FedEx driver helps Marion sheriff’s deputies nab Umatilla man after pursuit

A man was jailed recently after a FedEx driver helped Marion County sheriff’s deputies take him into custody.

New York City transplant nabbed for driving with suspended license

An Ocala motorist was jailed Wednesday morning after a Marion County sheriff’s deputy recognized him and knew he didn’t have a driver’s license.

Business

Historic 12-room inn near Downtown Ocala on the market for just under $1.2 million

The Shamrock Historic Inn offers 12 guest rooms with ‘cozy and eclectic’ themes and a manager/owner apartment.

Bryant tabbed to serve as vice chair of Florida Association of Counties committee

Marion County Commission Chairwoman Kathy Bryant has been appointed to serve as vice chair of the Florida Association of Counties’ Finance, Tax & Administration Committee.

Chuck E Cheese Ocala off list of nationwide closures amidst company bankruptcy filing

Chuck E Cheese in Ocala was not included in the list of restaurant locations closed by the company as a result of their bankruptcy filing last week.

Local business owner asking for donations to benefit family of late soldier

A local business owner is asking the community for donations to help the family of a late solider. 

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Headlines

Belleview teenager’s agonizing wait for kidney transplant appears to be over

Belleview teenager Cole Tumey is scheduled to receive a new kidney Tuesday morning at UF Health Shands Hospital.

Man nabbed on multitude of charges when strike team raids Ocala residence

A man was arrested Wednesday when agents from the Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team and the Ocala Police Department’s SWAT team raided an Ocala residence.

Recently sprung Ocala man back in jail after rampage

A 33-year-old Ocala man who recently got out of jail was arrested again Monday after he allegedly went on a destructive rampage when his mother’s live-in boyfriend told him he had to move out.

Marion County nears 1,000 COVID-19 cases as virus continues to slam tri-county area

Marion County is continuing to see a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, with 986 being reported Monday.
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