A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 14, 2012 at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Long Prairie for Harold J. Connolly, 87 year old resident of Long Prairie, MN, who passed away on Thursday, January 12th at Valley View Assisted Living in Long Prairie. Father Mark Willenbring will officiate. Friends may call from from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at the church. Arrangements are entrusted to the Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home, Stein Chapel in Long Prairie.Harold John Connolly was born on May 2, 1924 to the late Peter and Alvina (Alfs) Connolly. He was an only child and grew up on a farm near Grey Eagle. Harold was a life long member of St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Long Prairie, where he, in later years, became a self-appointed greeter, welcoming parishioners as they would come to mass.
Harold worked for 20 years for Great Northern Railroad where he worked as a food preparer on a steam engine locomotive passenger train. Harold also worked for 10 years as an assistant manager of the World, Tower, and Strand Theaters in St. Paul. Harold eventually moved back to Long Prairie to live with his aunt and uncle, Mary and Edward St. Antoine. It was the very same house he was born in, just across from St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Harold worked as a janitor for St. Mary’s Church and School. He then worked at Dahlman’s Café, which later became Marie’s Café. This seems to be where the people of Long Prairie got to know him best during those next 10 years.
Harold was simply the kindest, nicest, most polite gentleman you could ever know. He never complained about anything or anyone. He always had a big smile on his face, even when we knew he couldn’t possibly be feeling his best. He greeted people each day with the words “Good morning and how are you today?” Harold was a rather quiet person, but he enjoyed being around people very much, and looked forward to being included in any conversation that anyone would carry with him.
Harold was preceded in death by his parents, and his Aunt Mary and Uncle Edward St. Antoine. Harold has no living relatives, but has a whole community of friends who will remember and miss him dearly. The staff and residents of Valley View have been blessed to have him as a member of their family.