Anne Rouget Connolly
ALTAMONT — While blazing a career path as an accountant, Anne Rouget Connolly lived by the Golden Rule.
“My mom was a quiet observer…watching people, just taking everything in,” said her only child, Christina Connolly. “She always was positive, no matter what. She encouraged others to be thankful for the blessings they had and not dwell on the negative.”
She died peacefully in her Altamont home on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. She was 62.
Born in Nyack, N.Y., to her late parents, Robert and Regina (née Schlachter) Connolly, she was brought up in Nanuet. Both of her parents had served in the Navy during World War II and met while attending Teachers College at Columbia University.
Anne Connolly was a Girl Scout and enjoyed family card games, particularly bridge. She planned to become a teacher like her parents.
After graduating from Nanuet High School in 1969, she moved to Albany to attend the University at Albany. “She was about to start student teaching when she took an accounting class and realized her passion for that,” said her daughter. “She loved the details of numbers.”
With her bachelor of science degree, cum laude, she launched a career in accounting in an era when few women pursued the field. Among her accolades from the 1970s, Ms. Connolly was given an Outstanding Young Woman of America Award and in June 1977 became a certified public accountant; that same year, she became a member of the American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants.
She started her career in public accounting and spent many decades in financially related positions such as health care and research.
“When she started her career, she was usually the only woman in the place she worked,” said her daughter.
For the last 15 years of her career, Ms. Connolly worked for the Research Foundation for State University of New York as the Senior Director of Sponsored Programs Administration.
She worked in the central office, which handled requests from professors at the 30 campuses across the state. “All of them who wanted to perform research, Sponsored Programs oversees that, applying for grants from different agencies and following up,” said Christina Connolly.
Ms. Connolly was an active member of the National Council of Research Administrators and was appointed to NCURAs Peer Review Committee in 2007. She was also a member of Toastmasters and was involved in volunteering for Equinox in Albany. And, she loved to garden and make scrapbooks.
Despite the demands of career, Christine Connolly said, “She was the most dedicated mother. She always put me first over herself…She made sure I had a happy, healthy life….She made sure all of my dreams came true.”
Ms. Connolly supported her daughter in competitive dance, cheerleading at Guilderland High School, track and field in high school and college, and in studying abroad as she, too, had in her youth.
Anne Connolly visited her daughter when she studied in Florence, Italy and the pair made many far-flung trips over the years, most recently to Egypt in 2010. “That was outside her comfort zone, but she was always ready for an adventure,” said Christina Connolly.
“You would never know if she was scared,” her daughter went on. “She was so enthusiastic; she always wanted to give as a person.”
Anne Connolly was raised a Catholic and went to church every Sunday where her father played the organ. “She continued that as an adult,” said her daughter of practicing Catholicism. A communicant and lector of St. Lucy's Church in Altamont, Ms. Connolly was very involved in the religious education program.
“One of her favorite sayings was the Golden Rule: Treat others how you want to be treated,” said her daughter. “She lived that every day.”
Anne Rouget Connolly is survived by her beloved and only daughter, Christina M. Connolly, of San Francisco, Calif.; dedicated companion, Ron Botelho; four siblings, aunt and uncle; many nieces and nephews; godchildren Robert W. Connolly, John and Catherine VanGarderen; and many lifelong friends.
Services will be held on Saturday, Dec. 14, at Christ the King Church at 20 Sumpter Ave., in Guilderland, 12203. Calling hours are from 11a.m. to 1p.m. with a mass following at 1 p.m. Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home of Altamont.
Her daughter requests donations be made online: bit.ly/JdzS0Y, which will be donated to the American Heart Association in her name.
“May Anne, the beautiful angel, rest in peace,” her tribute concludes.
— Melissa Hale-Spencer