Janice Ellen (Robertshaw) Connelly, was called to peace on Sunday, March 21, 2021 at the age of 70 surrounded by the love of her devoted dance partner and husband Thomas Connelly Jr. and her adoring son and daughter in law.
Jay was born in Tiverton Rhode Island to Rosamond and Vernon Robertshaw. She was a faithful daughter and loving sister to Phyllis Peterson and Mary Ryan. Throughout her entire life she was a tower of strength to her family, and after the passing of her father she maintained the legacy of their 140-acre family farm.
Jay was a fearless spirit. She emanated an empathetic and honest strength coupled with a serenity that allowed others to grow through her care. A brilliant therapist and a gifted public servant, Jay devoted her life to helping others walk a stronger path. Jay earned a Master of Education in 1974, and soon after began working for the Yale University School of Medicine and Addiction as an addiction educator. She was passionate about raising up vulnerable communities and worked as the Assistant Director for a treatment program with gender specific services at Caritas House. She continued her calling as an Investigator for the Department of Children, Youth, and Families before becoming a counselor and Unit Manager at the Rhode Island Training School for youth. For 20 years she helped women overcome barriers to reentry in their community through her role as a Probation and Parole officer and Work Release Counselor at the Department of Corrections, prior to retiring from Rhode Island state service in 2009.
In 1990 Jay married her adventure partner and soulmate Thomas. For their 31 years together they loved to dance, travel, take mystery rides to unknown destinations and sit on the beach watching the waves make the world new. Jay was a voracious reader and had the ability to recall quotes and facts at the drop of a hat. She was an active member of the Handicraft Club and created stunning and intricate hand looped pieces. Jay was the best listener. She was interested, empathetic, and kind. She would offer honest advice, but never judge. Her family and friends always knew that no matter what they needed Jay would be there.
Jay is survived by her husband Thomas Connelly Jr, son Thomas Connelly III and daughter-in-law Sarah Bramblet, her sister Phyllis Peterson, 6 nieces and nephews and many loving extended family members and friends.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, March 27th, from 10:00 am to 11:30 am at Saint Pius V Church, Eaton Street, Providence, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 12:00 noon. In lieu of flowers, Janice’s family has requested donations be made to Sojourner House Rhode Island https://secure.qgiv.com/for/sojhour .
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