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Dr. Owen Sergeson Connelly, Jr. Obituary


Memories & Candles

“Dr. Connolly was my favorite professor, and I had the pleasure of studying under him for both undergraduate and graduate degrees. He was a demanding...Read More »
1 of 7 | Posted by: Kay Risher Huff - Atlanta, GA

Reminds me of you “Loved your work, especially blundering to glory. Over the Alps was partiullaly enthralling. I wish I could've been closer, I wanted to see your Ranch. ”
2 of 7 | Posted by: Edward Whitaker - Boston, MA

“I was in Afghanistan last year when I heard of his passing. I have always bragged about the two classes I took form Dr Connelly. As part of the class...Read More »
3 of 7 | Posted by: Daniel Brown - Irmo, SC - student

“I WILL NEVER FORGET THE NICE VISITS I HAD WITH YOUR FATHER WHEN YOU THREE WERE SWIMMING WITH OURS.HE WAS A GENTLE,INTELLIGENT AND COMPASSIONATE...Read More »
4 of 7 | Posted by: ALBERTO G ALVAREZ - COLUMBIA, SC

“As fellow members of the "class of 1967" in the USC History Department, we cherished Mike as a distinguished colleague, friend, generous host, and...Read More »
5 of 7 | Posted by: Ken and Linda Clements - Columbia, SC

“My heart and thoughts go out to all of you. He was a good man and will be missed. Thankfully he is in a better place now, find peace in the happy...Read More »
6 of 7 | Posted by: Stan Reed - Seattle, WA

“The staff of Dunbar Funeral Home extends deepest sympathy to the Connelly family. ”
7 of 7 | Posted by: Joey Tanner - Columbia, SC


HOPKINS - A memorial service for Dr. Owen Sergeson Connelly Jr. will be held at 11a.m. Saturday, July 16, 2011, at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. Friday at Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel.
Professor Owen Connelly, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.), died July 12, 2011. He was born and grew up in Morganton, N.C., the son of the late Owen Sergeson Connelly and Mary Lucy Earle Connelly. He graduated from Wake Forest University (B.S. in Physics) in 1948. His first career began in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was sent to Vanderbilt and then Yale University where he was commissioned (at age 20) and sent to occupied Germany. Later, as a young First Lieutenant in occupied Japan, he fought to be discharged from the Army Air Corps in order to better serve his country through active combat in the U.S. Army Infantry in Korea. This accomplished by an act of Congress, he served in the Korean War, in the Army Special Weapons Command in New Mexico, and with great pride was the Executive Officer of the Rangers' Amphibious and Jungle Warfare Training Camp in Florida.
His career in Academe began later with his M.A. in History (Wake Forest) and his Ph.D. in History (U.N.C. at Chapel Hill). He was a professor at the University of South Carolina (U.S.C.) for almost 40 years. As an academic, he published numerous articles and 10 books including “Napoleon's Satellite Kingdoms,” “The Gentle Bonaparte,” “The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era” (textbook used in over 100 colleges), “Blundering to Glory” and “On War and Leadership.” He was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University (1989, 1995), President of the Society for French Historical Studies (1988), a founder of the Consortium on Revolutionary Europe, and Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society. Dr. Connelly was the “Caroline McKissick Dial Professor of History” and honored by U.S.C. with the “Russell Award,” among many others; however, he cherished most the “Mortar Board Excellence in Teaching Award” (2002), voted by his students. As his colleagues, students and family know, he was a man of strong convictions and opinions, which he was never afraid to share.
When not researching, writing or teaching he would most often be found on horseback. He and the love of his life, Michale, shared a passion for horses and enjoyed living in the country with their four cats, two dogs and five horses. He adored his children and was proud to have taught each of them how to swim, ride a horse, shoot a gun and drive a car.
Dr. Connelly was a member of First Presbyterian Church and the family is grateful for the pastoral care we received from Rev. David Lauten and Rev. Craig Wilkes. The family wishes to thank Dr. J. Frank Martin Jr. and his wonderful staff for the outstanding medical care and personal attention they provided over the years and especially in the last few months. We would also like to extend a special thank you to our in-home care givers who lovingly gave so much assistance.
Surviving are his wife of 46 years, Michale Karnes Connelly; children, Michael Owen Connelly, U.S.N.A. alumnus and Gulf War veteran, (Cynthia Strickland) of Columbia, Dr. Alexandra “Lexi” Connelly Frost (David L.) of Charlotte, Rachel Connelly DiMaria (Michael) of Chapin; grandchildren, Lucy and Lois Frost, Jacob and Joshua DiMaria; brothers, Earle A. Connelly (Jean) of Troy, N.C.; William A. Connelly (Nancy) of Columbia, Md.; brother-in-law, Clifton H. Karnes (Sharon) of Greensboro, N.C.; seven nieces and one nephew.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice Care of Tri-County, 166 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 100, Columbia, SC 29210 or the Red Cross, 2751 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29202.