Doane Beal & Ames


Barbara Kelly Connelly

February 15, 1931March 23, 2021

Barbara Kelly Connelly passed away March 23, 2021 at her residence at Well-Spring in Greensboro, NC surrounded by family. Barbara leaves three children Kelly (David Evans), Mark (Julie Ernst) and David and three grandchildren Lillian (NYC), Dylan (Dallas), and Ian (Denver). Barbara’s beloved husband, Arthur, predeceased her (2007). She is survived by her brother Thomas J. Kelly, sister-in-law Ginny Connelly, brother-in-law Paul Connelly and several nieces and nephews.

Barbara was born and raised in Jamaica Plain, MA. She attended Notre Dame Academy (Hingham), earned a B.A. (History) at Newton College of the Sacred Heart, an M.S. in Education at Boston College, and an M.S. in Special Education from UMASS. Barbara taught in the Boston, Sharon, and Yarmouth (MA) public school districts. In retirement, she served as a reading teacher at the Barnstable County House of Correction. She was very proud of her work with her “gentlemen” at the jail; many who acquired the skills to pursue jobs and further their education.

Barbara and Arthur moved to Cape Cod in 1965 well before the Cape was the popular year-round destination it now is. Barbara and Arthur loved the Cape and instilled a love and respect for swimming, fishing, boating, and sailing in their children. Arthur sagely named all his watercraft the “Barbara K” to honor Barbara.

As forty+ year parishioners of the Sacred Heart Chapel in Yarmouth Port, they loved walking from their home on Main Street to the Chapel for Sunday Mass. Sons Mark and David were long-time acolytes at Sacred Heart and daughter Kelly married son-in-law David Evans there in 1987.

When younger son David was born in 1964 with Down syndrome, Barbara and Arthur brought him home in lieu of institutionalizing him-a common practice at the time. They became lifelong advocates for those with special needs, Barbara developing a template for special needs’ nursery schools, and Barbara and Arthur working tirelessly through the ARC of Massachusetts for people like David to have access to a free and appropriate public education. In 1971 David was the first differently abled student in Massachusetts to board a public-school bus to attend public school.

Barbara had a strong Catholic faith that informed how she lived her life: treat others as you would want to be treated, advocate for the less fortunate, be all you can with what God has given you, never ever waste your talents. Do it all with humility, grace, and resolve.

Barbara retired to Well-Spring in Greensboro, NC in 2009. She enjoyed the many enriching friendships she made while living at Well-Spring. The staff at Well-Spring is truly first class and supported our mother through her journey there; we are very grateful for their servant leadership.

When she was diagnosed with cancer in 2020, Barbara prayed for “one more season of birthdays” which she most fortunately enjoyed. Celebrating her family was very important to her.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Cape Abilities, 895 Mary Dunn Road, Hyannis MA 02601.

Funeral Mass will be held on Friday April 9, 2021 at 11 am at Sacred Heart Chapel, Yarmouthport. Burial will follow at Woodside Cemetery in Yarmouthport.

For online condolences, please visit .


  • Cape Abilities


  • Funeral Mass

    Friday, April 9, 2021

  • Burial

    Friday, April 9, 2021


Barbara Kelly Connelly

have a memory or condolence to add?

Meg Loughran

April 5, 2021

I taught with Barbara for 20 years, and was a service provider for David when he was a school age student and again as an adult at Cape Abilities.
Barbara and Arthur's advocacy for David and all persons with disabilities is legendary. They truly walked the talk. Their work made life better for many, many people.
Barbara was always kind, compassionate, and focused in regard to her students and colleagues. It is so fitting that she went on to teach reading to prisoners.
If you measure ones life by leaving the world a better place when you leave it, Barbara and Arthur certainly did that.
My sympathies to you all...sending you love, light, and peace.

Michael Louie

March 29, 2021

I rember Barbara Connelly when she ask me to come to her house she makes me her grandson she kiss me