Joan C. Connolly, 88

Joan Charlene Connolly, 88 of Bryan, Ohio and formerly of West Unity, Ohio passed away Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at Hillside Country Living. Joan was born December 18, 1934, in Hudson, Michigan to Delbert and Linnie (Powers) Sharp.  She married James E. Connolly on August 4, 1968, and he preceded her in death on September 18, 2016. Joan graduated from Hudson High School in 1953. She attended Jackson Junior College, Adrian College and the University of Toledo earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education. She was also enrolled at Detroit Bible Institute for one year and was the children’s choir director at one of the area’s largest churches. After earning her degree, Joan taught third grade at Whiteford, Michigan and second grade at Holland Elementary in Holland, Ohio. She continued to teach third grade for seven years in Waldron, Michigan.  Moving to West Unity, Ohio, Joan taught third grade for twenty-eight years. Retiring in 1998, after thirty-nine years of teaching.  She loved her students and has enjoyed watching them grow into fine citizens, leaving her with happy memories. Joan was a Brownie and Girl Scout leader for 20 years and a charter member of the BPW Club in West Unity where she served many offices. Joan is known by many as “their” third grade teacher. She was a storyteller and presented to many groups, “My Grandmother’s Trunk.” The trunk presentation takes one back through childhood with many special memories and artifacts that were shared. Joan attended Clay United Methodist Church where she taught Sunday School, ministered the Children’s story hour, and directed the choir.  Her musical ability also included playing the flute at Hudson High School and the Jackson Symphony Orchestra. Joan was co-owner with her husband James, Connolly’s Christian Crafts.  They participated in many craft shows, sharing their talents.  Joan enjoyed China painting, oil painting, watercolor painting and glass etching along with designing wooden crafts. After retirement they also worked at Sauder’s and the Christmas Manor.

Joan is survived by grandchildren, John (Addy) Huffman, Jerrica (Garret) Geesey and Drew (Tanisha Lloyd) Doan; eight great grandchildren; niece, Jackie (Wesley) Wickham of Osseo, Michigan, along with other nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.  Her joy was her family and her great grandchildren.  In addition to her husband, James E. Connolly, Joan was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Kendra Connolly Doan; one baby brother; sister, Joyce A. Sebring; nephew, Darwin E. Sebring.

Visitation for Joan will be held Wednesday, May 31, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Oberlin-Turnbull Funeral Home, 202 North Liberty Street, West Unity. Funeral Services will be held Thursday, June 1, 2023, beginning at 11:00 a.m. in the funeral home with Pastor Nick Woodall officiating. Interment will follow at Shiffler Cemetery, Bryan.

The family requests memorial contributions be made to Hillside Country Living Patient Activity Fund or West Franklin United Methodist Church.

Condolences may be sent to the family or the online guest book may be signed at

Schedule of Services


Oberlin-Turnbull Funeral Home – West Unity Chapel

  •  202 North Liberty Street
     West Unity, Ohio 43570

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