Edward M. "Ed" Connolly, Jr., Age: 76
Mar 29, 1943 -- Aug 8, 2019

 

Edward (Ed) Matthew Connolly, Jr. passed away peacefully, August 8, 2019 surrounded by his loved ones. Ed lived a full life and had a positive influence on everyone he met. Ed was dedicated to his faith, loved his family, and cherished friends, associates, and the thousands of people his philanthropic efforts impacted. Ed is preceded in death by Edward M. Connolly, Sr. and Margie Connolly. Survived by his wife of 52 years, Linda Connolly, his daughter Mary Hornbeck (Steve), and sons Branden (Shanna) and Patrick (Sarah) Connolly, brother, Mike (Lynn) Connolly, grandchildren Andrew, Carolyn, and Matthew Hornbeck, Ella, Ava, Sophia, Patrick, Dominick, James, Peter, Grace, and John Connolly, great granddaughter Olivia Hogan-Horbeck, and numerous nieces and nephews.

 

 Ed was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 29, 1943, the loving son of Edward M. Connolly, Sr. and Margie Connolly. His father worked for years at Brown-Forman Distillery in Louisville and his mother was a homemaker who was always willing to quietly lend a hand to anyone in need. Margie was an amazing cake maker who was fiercely loyal, strong willed, and grounded. Two loving parents who had a profound impact during Ed’s childhood and built a foundation for his life.

 

 Ed spent his younger years in Louisville and attended St. Xavier High School and graduated from Bellarmine College in 1965. Ed worked tirelessly to comfort his mother who fell ill with cancer. Ed worked multiple shifts at the General Electric factory and would rush home to tend to his mother during her fight with cancer. Exhibiting some of the same characteristics that his Mom and Dad had displayed, Ed was always there to help his mom keep her promise to see his brother graduate high school.

 

 In 1962, Ed met the love of his life, Linda Joyce Bramer. Ed’s infectious personality and quick wit made him an instant hit with Linda’s family. They dated for three and a half years, much to the chagrin of Linda who would have preferred to marry much sooner. But good things come to those who wait and on December 10, 1966, Ed and Linda were wed, forming a bond that would span 52 years.

 

 Ed served in the Army National Guard in Field Artillery and was deployed to Vietnam. Just before leaving for Vietnam, Ed and Linda welcomed their first child Mary Shannon. Ed served his country faithfully and bravely, and returned home to the welcoming arms of Linda and Mary. Ed was so proud of his service and supported veteran organizations throughout his life.

 

 In 1971 Ed started his career at Olin Matheson Chemical Corporation in Genoa, IL, and welcomed his first son and second child, Branden Michael. He held various management positions at the company in personnel and labor relations. He negotiated contracts with the United States Steelworkers of America. His ability to relate to people while being fair, honest, and firm shined brightly during his tenure at Olin Matheson. Ed enjoyed many successes and stayed at the company for ten years. One of his proudest moments was a direct result of his natural leadership - the workforce achieved a 1,000,000 man hours without a lost time incident.

 

Ed enjoyed Genoa, and quickly gained numerous friends in and around town. As Ed was expanding his career and raising a family another opportunity arose...one that would change his life forever.

 

 In 1976 Ed heard about a new pharmaceutical company in Kansas City, Missouri. Ed was intrigued, but making a second move further away from his hometown of Louisville was an obstacle. After a trip to Kansas City to interview for a personnel manager position, Ed was sold on the opportunity and the vision of Ewing Marion Kauffman and his company, Marion Laboratories. It was Ed’s first exposure to the Marion Way...the culture that would ultimately be the driving force in the development of a landmark Kansas City company. A culture that Ed related to and modeled throughout his life.

 

 Ed’s true talents and values shined at Marion and his career spanned nearly 25 years at the company. He held various positions; personnel manager, corporate associate relations manager, operations, Vice President of Human Resources & Systems, and his most rewarding position as Vice President, Community Affairs, North America and President of the Marion Merrell Dow Foundation. This is where Ed’s philanthropic passion was tapped. Ed truly felt at home at Marion Laboratories and it became an extension of his family. As Ed’s extended professional family was growing so was his family at home. Ed welcomed his third and final child, Patrick Martin.

 

 As Ed’s role expanded at Marion so did his work in the community. He sat on numerous boards including Children’s Mercy Hospital, Heart to Heart International, Kansas City Hospice, and the University of Kansas Health System. He was involved in numerous projects with reach far beyond Kansas City. He was deeply passionate about people and underserved populations. He was responsible for creating the Scientific Education Partnership Foundation (SEP) and the Foundation for the Medically Indigent. Ed played an active role in the distribution of thousands of doses of medicine and played a key role in developing a Pharmacy program at Children’s Mercy Hospital, impacting numerous pediatric patients and their families.

 

 Despite the many accolades, one thing was certain – Ed always remained humble and focused on helping others rather than personal recognition. His passion was helping others far away from notoriety. Ed was a quiet force that leveraged the equity in his relationships, his compassion for others, and his thoughtful leadership to impact the lives of anyone he came across. Ed often quipped, “I am just a guy”, but to his friends, family, and professional relationships they knew better. He was so much more!

 

 Ed's deep Catholic faith was central to his life. He played a role in building four new parish communities. He deeply loved Stephen Ministry in his own parish and launched this initiative at Cure’ of Ars. He cherished his role as President of the Board at Serra KCK - an organization that supports vocations. Ed was committed to adoration and continued to grow deeply in his faith.

 

 Ed will be forever loved and deeply missed. Ed was blessed with a vast array of friends and loved ones who are undoubtedly grieving. Ed would want us to remember the Irish blessing below:

 

 

 

May you see God’s light on the path ahead

 

When the road you walk is dark.

 

May you always hear,

 

Even in your hour of sorrow,

 

The gentle singing of the lark.

 

When times are hard may hardness

 

Never turn your heart to stone,

 

May you always remember

 

when the shadows fall –

 

You do not walk alone.

 

 

 

We love you Pa!

 

 

 

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts to Children’s Mercy Hospital of Kansas City or Serra KCK (serrakck.org) are greatly appreciated.

 

 



Condolences

Pamela Denhard Aug 11 ,2019

Niece ,Louisville ,Kentucky

Aunt Lynda, Mary, Branden, Patrick and family, Uncle Eddie touched so many people in his life, he was a true hero to many. I am keeping you all in my love and prayers. As you have lost a large piece of your hearts, remember his devoted faith and love to all he was committed. He is with his Savior and is now Flying High on Angels Wings keeping watch over you all. Love, hugs, and kisses to you all. God bless and be with you all during this time. I love you all!!!

Denniy Caskey Aug 11 ,2019

Cousin ,Louisville ,Kentucky

So sorry for your loss

Lois Belser Aug 13 ,2019

Marion Labs ,Prairie Village ,Kansas

It was such a pleasure to work on the same floor as Ed when we moved to the new building at the Park. He was always kind, caring and welcoming. A great example of how people should live their lives.

Event:
Visitation
Location:
Cure of Ars Catholic Church
Address:
9405 Mission Road
City:
Leawood
State:
Kansas
Zip Code:
66206
Date:
Aug 11 ,2019
Time:
2:00 PM
Google Map:
Event:
Visitation
Location:
Cure of Ars Catholic Church
Address:
9405 Mission Road
City:
Leawood
State:
Kansas
Zip Code:
66206
Date:
Aug 12 ,2019
Time:
9:00 AM
Google Map:
Event:
Funeral Mass
Location:
Cure of Ars Catholic Church
Address:
9405 Mission Road
City:
Leawood
State:
Kansas
Zip Code:
66206
Date:
Aug 12 ,2019
Time:
11:30 AM
Google Map: