Dan Connelly, Jr.

I was maybe 6 years old, and my body was slowly sinking deeper into a mucky pond behind my cousins’ house. The harder I tried to climb out, the deeper I sank. With my legs now submerged knee-deep in quicksand, and feeling utterly helpless, my older brother Danny yelled at me to grab his arm. We locked hands like arm wrestlers, and he screamed at me with every pull. I was muddy, shaken, and speechless, but I was free…thanks to Danny.

Danny was always strong—and loud—both in a good way. He would greet you with a huge smile and a “how the heck are you?” that made you want to answer.  No matter the occasion, he had a relatable story and it often ended with his voice cracking as he fought back laughter to get out the punch line. High school teammates called him Plumber, friends called him Big Country, funny yet endearing nicknames forged through many shared experiences. Subtleness was never his thing.

You always felt safer with Danny around. Whether he was sitting next to you watching a Notre Dame game or miles away in Portsmouth, you just felt protected knowing he was nearby. And when he was there, his presence was always enough for an impromptu celebration. He attacked life like a blitzing linebacker, startling the unsuspecting with his enthusiastic behavior. His passion was evident whether creating a momentum shifter during a Patriots game, or simply enjoying a cigar at the lake with his family, but that passion was undoubtedly most fierce when cheering on his daughter in sports and in life.

On Christmas Eve, Danny unexpectedly passed away of a heart attack at the age of 53. A devoted family man, he leaves behind his loving wife, Heather, and their 13-year-old daughter, Claire. With their world upended by the tragic loss of a wonderful man, there's no question Claire has her father's remarkable strength.  

His game recaps will be missed by our dad and brother Curt. Lake outings and pool parties won’t feel quite as refreshing without his boisterous laugh. It won’t feel quite as safe without my brother Danny around. Kind of like you’re stuck in a mucky pond reaching out for a strong hand.

This page was created in response to the incredible outpouring of love and support from friends and family who have expressed a desire to help Danny's family. All donations will benefit his wife, Heather, and daughter, Claire, with their immediate and long-term needs as they move forward. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.


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  • Kate Kelley 
    • 50 $ 
    • 5 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • 100 $ 
    • 7 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • 30 $ 
    • 1 d
  • Rich and Paula Cronin 
    • 200 $ 
    • 1 d
  • John Scott 
    • 100 $ 
    • 1 d
See all

Fundraising team (2)

Kevin Connelly 
Raised 5,130 $ from 21 donations
Rochester, NH
Curtis Connelly 
Team member
Raised 3,325 $ from 13 donations
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