Originally created 02/23/04

Mr. Robert Connelly, Sr. (ULMER, S.C.)



ULMER, S.C.- Robert Edward Connelly, Sr., 81, died Saturday, February 21, 2004, at the Allendale County Hospital after a brief illness. Mr. Connelly was born January 7, 1923, at Jennys, Allendale County, a son of the late John Frank Connelly and Clara Estell Harter Connelly. He attended Allendale County schools and joined the Civilian Conservation Corps at the age of 16. Later, he was employed at the Charleston Naval Ship Yard. He served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army during World War II. His tour of duty took him to France and Germany. He also served under General Patton in the Battle of the Bulge. Following his discharge from the Army after the war, he returned for a time of brief employment with the Naval Yard. In 1947, he returned to his home place in Bethel Community of Allendale County, where he and his wife engaged in farming. During this time, he was also employed as a fireman at the Savannah River Plant. Over the years since then, thei r farming operation expanded and has become very successful, growing into a business that includes all three of their children and their spouses, and now several grandchildren. In addition to a large row-crop and timber farm, the business includes a fertilizer plant, grain facility, oil distributorship and hunting plantation. He and his family have received numerous awards and honors for their farming methods and commodity yields. In 1983, he and his family were recognized as Master Farm Family of S.C. by Clemson University and Progressive Farmer magazine. He was an advocate for farming and farm programs on the local, state and national levels. He was very active in the American Agriculture Movement during the late 1970s and met with legislators in Washington, D.C. many times. He was president of the Allendale County Farm Bureau for over 35 years. Additionally, he served on various committees and was a director of the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation. He served on many f arm and farm agency committees and boards. He served as magistrate for Sycamore Township for many years. He was a member of the Allendale County Board of Education trustees for over 20 years, serving several terms as chairman of the school board. He was a member of the Allendale County Development Board. He was a member and secretary/treasurer of the Bethel Grange prior to its disbandment. Mr. Connelly was a lifelong member of Bethel Baptist Church near Sycamore, where he was a deacon, teacher of the Men's Bible Class and chairman of the deacon board. He was a past church trustee, a former Sunday School superintendent and had served on the building, finance and pulpit committees. He was also a member of the Great Saltkehatchie Cemetery Association committee. Surviving are his wife of 61 years, Mrs. Elma Eugenia Lazar Connelly of the home; two sons, Robert Edward Connelly, Jr. (Alma) and Keith Baynard Connelly; a daughter, Mrs. Benjamin D. (Nancy) Crim, all of Ulmer; a sister, Mrs. D. E. (Barbara) Carter, of Ulmer; nine grandchildren, Robert E. Connelly, III, William Mark Connelly, Matthew J. Connelly (Heather), Kevin K. Connelly and Mrs. Steve (Angel) Brabham, all of Ulmer, Mrs. Travis (Jennifer) Henzler of Pelion, Mrs. Ben (Kristen) Smaok of Olar, Mrs. Mike (Tina) Howard of Charleston and Mrs. Juan (Lindsey) Sanchez of Naples, Italy. There are nine great-grandchildren and a number of nieces and nephews. Mr. Connelly was predeceased by two brothers and eight sisters, including his twin sister, Mrs. Sara C. Henderson. Memorials may be made to the Bethel Baptist Church, 6486 Confederate Highway, Fairfax, S.C. 29827. Visitation will be from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Monday evening, February 23, at the home, 2391 Ulmer Road, Ulmer. Services will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Bethel Baptist Church near Sycamore, with burial in the Great Saltkehatchie Cemetery, Ulmer. Smith-Rhoden Funeral Home of Allendale is in charge of arrangements. Sign the guestbook at AugustaChronicle.com The Augusta Chronicle-February 23, 2004