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Joseph William Connelly


Joseph William Connelly, 83, died Monday, May 9, 2022, at Methodist Hospital. Joe was born December 16, 1938, in Rochester, MN, to Paul and Myrle (Campion) Connelly. He grew up on a farm in the Salem Corners area. Joe graduated from Lourdes High School in 1956. On September 3, 1960, he married Karen Jones at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Mazeppa. They lived in Rochester and then moved to a farm near Douglas in 1965 where they lived and farmed for 40 years before retiring and returning to Rochester.

Joe started working at Rochester Methodist Hospital in 1956 and retired from the Mayo Clinic in 1994 after 37 years. He served in the Minnesota National Guard from 1957 until 1971 attaining the rank of First Lieutenant. Joe belonged to the Byron American Legion for 42 years. He was active in the farming community and held leadership positions on multiple boards.

Joe and Karen faithfully supported each other throughout their 62 years of marriage. Karen was always by his side and their lifetime of loving, caring and sharing was an inspiration to us all. He was a dedicated father to his children and is loved dearly by them. He is survived by his loving wife Karen, their six children Theresa (Kelly) Daily, Sheila Cornelius, Pat (Melodie) Connelly, Brian (Terrie) Connelly, Diane (Christopher) Gowan, and Jodi Connelly. Joe is also survived by his siblings Jerry Connelly, his twin John (Jacquie) Connelly, sister-in-law Nancy Connelly, Bill (Dorothy) Connelly, Mary Ann (Terry) Schaefer, Sharon (Brian) Utley, and Jim (Marilyn) Connelly. He was preceded in death by his parents Paul and Myrle Connelly, his son-in-law Dirk Cornelius, his brothers Paul and Bob Connelly, and sister-in-law Marge Connelly.

He adored his ten grandchildren Brad, Adam, Will, Sara, Allison, Elaine, Courtney, Sydney, Conner, and Tyler, and three great grandchildren. One of Joe’s favorite past-times was attending sporting events for his grandchildren.

Joe will be especially remembered for his quick wit and dry sense of humor. Pairing this with his relentless work ethic and honesty, he was truly an incredible man. His favorite holiday was St. Patrick’s Day as he was an Irishman to his core. Joe was a farmer who loved the land and was most happy in the tractor planting crops. He was able to farm through the last harvest season of his life with his son and grandson.

The memorial Mass will be held at 11:00am on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at Pax Christi Catholic Church with Rev. Shawn Haremza officiating. Burial will be in the Byron Cemetery. A visitation will be held at the church one hour prior to the service on Tuesday.

Online condolences are welcomed at

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