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Jennifer Connelly, 51, Former Teacher of Westport

WESTPORT, Conn. – Jennifer Gunn Connelly, 51, of Westport, died April 1 after a long battle with ovarian cancer.

Born in Cleveland, she was raised in Woodstock, Vt., and Hartland, Vt. Connelly attended elementary and junior high school in Woodstock before going to boarding school at Dana Hall in Wellesley, Mass.; Hawaii Preparatory Academy; and the Mountain School in Vershire, Vt., from which she graduated in 1979.

In 1984, Connelly earned a bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. She received a master’s degree in American studies from Columbia University in 1987. Connelly worked for a number of years in New York City as a buyer for Lord & Taylor, accessories editor for Harper’s Bazaar and admissions officer and second grade teacher at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School.

She married Mark Connelly in 1991, and they moved to Westport two years later to start a family. Being a mother was her life’s vocation and her greatest joy.

Survivors, in addition to her husband, are sons Dylan and Ian of Westport; a sister, Elizabeth Gunn Potter, of Bozeman, Mont.; and her parents, Carol and Charles Cushman, of Hartland.

A celebration of her life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Greenfield Hills Congregational Church in Fairfield.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Block Island Conservancy, P.O. Box 84, Block Island, RI 02807, where Connelly spent many summers and her family owns a home. She requested that donations be earmarked for the purchase of the Solviken Property on Block Island.

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