Andrew L Connolly

March 26th, 1949 to October 24th, 2022

Past Commodore “Captain” Andy Connolly died peacefully after a long battle with cancer on October 24th, 2022. He was loved and will be missed by so many. He is survived by his wife, Jessan Connolly; children, Tyson Connolly (Traci Whymer), Colleen (Bob) Kushmaul; grandsons, Connor and Tyson Kushmaul; stepchildren, Andrew (Jamie) McCay and Michael (Katie) McCay; step grandchildren, Alexandra, Trent, Cameron and Sadie McCay; siblings, Timothy (May King) Connolly, Sandra (Rick) DeMars, Tara (Rick Jones) Connolly, Dan (Kathy) Connolly, Janet Connolly and Arthur Connolly; several nieces and nephews; and many close friends and extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents, Timothy and Grace Connolly; and his brother, Francis Connolly.

Andy was born on March 26, 1949, in Highland Park, Michigan to Timothy and Grace Connolly and was the second of eight children. He earned his high school diploma from Erie Mason High School and attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School. Andy was Captain of the 1966 Erie Mason Eagle Football Team and was voted Class C All State Honorable Mention, an achievement that gave him great pride. He was active in the Boy Scouts and used his unparalleled imagination to dream of where his life would take him while growing up in Erie, Michigan. Andy graduated from Ferris State University, Western Michigan University and Wayne State University earning a master’s degree in education.

While traveling to Grand Bend, Ontario he crossed the Blue Water Bridge and become enamored with the Port Huron / Blue Water Area. He moved his family to Port Huron in 1976 and become the welding instructor at the ISD Skill Center (TEC Center), a position he treasured and held for over 25 years. Providing an education that would allow students the opportunity to make a living for their family was extremely important to Andy. He also maintained his own welding business - Hi-Tech Welded Products, worked as an engineer for General Motors and finished his career as an instructor for Oakland County Schools.

Andy’s passion was sailboat racing and cruising. He spent many of his summers on Lake Huron and cruising the North Channel of northern Ontario beginning with his mentor George Lyon. He owned several sailboats, Vulcan, Blew By You, Tigress, and Manana and successfully raced them throughout the Great Lakes. His greatest achievement on the water was winning the 2001 National Off-Shore One-Design Championship at Bayview Yacht Club.

He and his team won their class in the 1981, 1999 and 2007 Port Huron to Mackinac Island Sailboat Race. He was a proud member of the Society of Mackinac Island Old Goats competing in over 25 Mackinac Races.

Andy also won his class in multiple Mills Trophy Races and numerous Port Huron and Sarnia Yacht Club races and regattas. Many times, his sailing team included his children Tyson and Colleen who loved being on the water with their dad and sharing his love of sailing.

He was Commodore of the Port Huron Yacht Club in 1989. Andy created lifelong extended family relationships through the Club. His talent of leadership, inclusion, welding, and overall problem solving was utilized in helping build Port Huron Yacht Club and the grounds that surround it today. He was the 1996 Commodore of Lake Huron Yachting Association and hosted the Richardson Cup Match Racing Championship on Lake Huron.

In 2003 Andy departed Port Huron aboard his 33’ sailboat Manana on “His Great Adventure”. He sailed his boat through the Great Lakes, down the Intercoastal Waterway and made his home port Ft. Myers, Florida for two years. He explored such places as Key West, the Dry Tortugas, Savannah, Charleston, Annapolis, New York and so many other ports.

Andy married Jessan McCay in 2007 and together created a wonderful life of splitting time between Port Huron and N. Ft. Myers, Fl until his death.

He was an avid skier, a student of history and was a regular home contestant of the game show Jeopardy.

Andy witnessed the Detroit Tigers win the 1984 World Series with his family and attended the final game at Tiger Stadium. He was awarded the title of Mr. St. Clair County in 1984 a recognition that he very much cherished.

He was extremely proud of his children and grandchildren and took great satisfaction in their accomplishments.

Captain Andy was legendary for his incredible ability to tell engaging stories and extremely well-timed jokes. His bravado, determination, warm heart, and ability to make friends from strangers will be carried on by his family and friends for generations.

He is going to be missed so much by so many! The Connolly family is very grateful for the overwhelming support we have received, and our Captain Andy would have been especially touched.

Smooth Sailing, to a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend, and Captain!

Visitation will be from 1-9 p.m. Wednesday, November 2, 2022 in Karrer-Simpson Funeral Home.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 12 noon Thursday, November 3, 2022 in the Port Huron Yacht Club. Past Commodore Bob Bert will officiate.

Inurnment will be in the Mt. Hope Cemetery Columbarium.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Port Huron Yacht Club Memorial Fund. To send condolences, visit

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