Elaine Connelly

November 11, 1945April 12, 2014
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Elaine Connelly, passed away on Saturday, the 12th of April 2014, at the age of 68.

Family, friends and quilting brought joy to Elaine Connelly’s life. Now we are left mourning our much loved wife, mother, grandmother, friend and fellow quilter.

Elaine was born on Veterans’ Day, the 11th of November 1945, in Mid Valley Hospital in Dickson City, Pennsylvania. Fate and a lack of housing at her first choice of the University of Pennsylvania led her to Northwestern University, where she met the love of her life, George Connelly. A history graduate, she worked as a programmer and systems analyst for Sears Roebuck in Chicago where she was a female pioneer in information technology, which was then known as “data processing.” Later, after George graduated from law school, they moved to Buffalo New York, where she used those same skills at M&T Bank and later when they moved to Houston at Amoco (now BP), where she was the maestro of the intranet, the nascent internal electronic communication program.

More than her work outside her home, she was the kind of woman who weaves order and softness into the fabric of family and community. She was the sort of woman who everyone wishes to have as a mother. At various times, Elaine was the president of her children’s pre-school, team mom for soccer teams, score keeper for Little League and the treasurer of her Riverbend homeowners association.

She also was the president of the Quilt Guild of Greater Houston, which brings us to her other, great passion: quilting. Her talent for organization, which served her so well in technology, also led her to create the beautiful patterns of colors and shapes that graced her quilts. One of her first quilts won the New Quilter’s Prize at the American International Quilt Festival. But if you called her a “major league quilter,” she would deny it and add that she worked with an even higher level of world class quilters.

Her greatest love of quilting was working with fabric to create gifts for others. Ninety percent of the quilts she made were gifts. Many a baby has nestled in a quilt lovingly crafted by Elaine. One now is holding the baby of one of those babies. She also shared her joy in quilting by demonstrating quilting techniques at the Learn-to-Quilt booth at the International Quilt Festival. Elaine has led teams of quilters who sewed quilts to raise funds for Ronald McDonald house. Two of those quilts were auctioned for the highest sums ever paid.

Elaine was the second child of Joseph and Mary Tylenda. She recently lost her older sister, Mary Louise Geupel, and is survived by her sister, Dr. Carolyn Tylenda and brother Joseph Tylenda. In addition to George, she leaves behind daughter, Allison and her husband, Chad, and son, Devin and his wife, Dr. Melinda Wilhelm Connelly. Her beloved grandchildren are Emma, Carter, Nicholas, Gabriel and Chelsea.

Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o’clock in the afternoon until eight o’clock in the evening on Wednesday, the 16th of April, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.

The funeral service is to be conducted at ten o’clock in the morning on Thursday, the 17th of April, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons.

Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception in the adjacent grand foyer.

In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in Elaine’s memory may be directed to the Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts, 4848 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002.


  • Visitation Wednesday, April 16, 2014
  • Funeral Service Thursday, April 17, 2014

Elaine Connelly

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Diane Bartkowski Myers

April 19, 2014

To Elaine's Family,
Elaine and I were friends and classmates in grade school and high school. She had the same spirit and warmth then as she had throughout her life. Your family is in my prayers.

Sherry Zimmerman

April 18, 2014

I have fond memories of Elaine. The warmth and generosity of her spirit will live on in the lives of those she touched.

Katelynn Winkler

April 17, 2014

My deepest sympathies. I am very sorry for your loss.

,maureen Barry Ferguson

April 17, 2014

Fond memories of Cathedral our great class. Great times together then and again in heaven.

April 16, 2014

Dear George and Family,
I am a classmate of Elaine's from Cathedral High School in Scranton. We had our 50th class reunion this past Labor Day and we missed her presence. I remember her as a lovely, bright and friendly young women, a conscientious student and a generous and active participant in school activities. Thank you for putting the photo gallery on line. Many of my classmates and I have enjoyed seeing her life and her beautiful and growing family and her lovely quilts. My prayers and sympathy for all of you in your great loss.
Sister Kathy Kurdziel IHM, (Scranton, PA)

Teresa Dodson

April 16, 2014

I am sorry to hear of her passing, She was a gracious lady and generous in sharing her talents.

Kathryn Bellis

April 16, 2014

My thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

Ruth Gernhart

April 15, 2014

George, my deepest sympathy for you and the Elaine's entire family. You are all in my thoughts & prayers.

April 15, 2014

George, I am sorry I did not get to meet your bride, but I felt I knew her because of the love in your eyes when you spoke of her. My deepest sympathies, to you & your family. Please be are my hero !
Bonnie Percely

Teri Hall

April 15, 2014

What a joy it was to have known Elaine and swapped quilting tricks and stories. She had a wonderful way of making everyone laugh and lighting up the room. I was so sorry to hear about her passing, she will be missed. My deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family.