Benjamin F. Connelly, Sr., 69, of Waxhaw Drive, Durham, NC died Thursday, October 1, 2009 at his residence following a period of declining health. Born in Burke County, NC on January 11, 1940, he was the son of the late Leroy Connelly, Sr. and Estelle Avery Connelly. Benjamin was a registered nurse. He worked for over forty years at Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh, NC. He enjoyed riding his motorcycle, fishing on his boat, gardening, and working with his flowers. Benjamin was of the A.M.E. Faith.A loving husband, father, and grandfather, he is survived by his wife of 27 years, Nancy Burns Connelly of the home; sons, Benjamin Franklin Connelly, Jr. and wife, Noriko, of Oyama, Japan, Benjamin Franklin Connelly, III of Durham, and Ricky Allen Connelly of Morganton; daughters, Emily N. Connelly of Durham, Michelle E. Connelly of Durham, Crystal D. Connelly of Morganton, and Valerie A. Johnson and husband, Bobby, of Morganton; brothers, Leroy Connelly, Jr. and wife, Louise of Knoxville, TN and Richard A. Connelly and wife, Joetta, of Conover, NC; a sister, Gwendolyn Harbison and husband, Charles, Jr. of Morganton; a special aunt, Ruth Connelly of Connelly Springs, NC; special friends, Marietta Fernandez of Durham and Peggy G. Thompson of Morganton; and grandchildren, Alexia M. Roberts and husband, Ronnie, of Drexel, NC, Jordun A. Lawrence of Morganton, Taylor A. Connelly of Morganton, and Allen Hargro of Seattle, WA.In addition to his parents, Benjamin was preceded in death by two sisters, Caroline and Elizabeth Connelly; a niece, Racquel Harbison; and his father-in-law, Edward Burns.The funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 7, 2009 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Herbert Carter officiating. Burial will follow in Israel Chapel A.M.E. Church Cemetery with military honors provided by Valdese American Legion Post #234. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 12:00 until 2:00 p.m. prior to the service. At other times the family will be at 102 Sequoyah Circle, Morganton.

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