Maureen Judith "Mo" Connolly-Turk, 66, who retired to Sturgeon Bay, WI, died on November 28, 2009, at St. Vincent's Hospice in Green Bay, WI, following four weeks of hospitalization after symptoms of cancer appeared November 1.
Maureen was born Jan. 30, 1943, in Chicago, IL, to the late George P. Connolly and Edith G. (Thornton) Connolly.
Preceding her in death was brother George P. Connolly, Jr. Surviving Maureen are her sweetheart since 8th grade, Kenneth M. Turk of Sturgeon Bay, WI; and her three sons (spouses, children), Geoffrey Turk, Milwaukee, WI, John (Kathy, Emily, Megan, Sara) Turk, Trevor, WI, and Byron (Jennifer, Brittanie, Luis) Turk, Sussex, WI; brother Dr. Dennis M. (Bonnie) Connolly, Kenosha, WI; and sister Dr. Caryn (Donald) Easterling, Pewaukee, WI. Maureen and Ken married Oct. 3, 1964, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Kenosha, WI, and recently celebrated 45 years of marriage in their favorite food/music/fun city: New Orleans.
Maureen's biggest disappointment was not being able to pursue a medical career because of her seizure disorder. She focused her incredible abilities and energy into music as a teenager and at Northwestern University; clarinet, piano, oboe and cello majoring in operatic voice training at NU. In 1969, she moved to Waukesha, WI. There she was a founding member of the Community of the Living Spirit Church. It continues today after 35 plus years of carrying out its primary goal of helping the needy of the greater community. She assisted in the establishment of a food and clothing pantry plus a battered women's center.
When her sons were old enough to help with household chores, Maureen returned to college and earned a Liberal Arts Degree in English at Carroll College. This was soon followed with a Masters Degree in Social Work from UW-Milwaukee. Maureen devoted her skills to helping others both professionally and as a volunteer. Her practice focused on assisting women with chronic illnesses, a natural sharing of her own struggles and successes of overcoming several chronic illnesses of her own. Helping of others culminated in her donation of her body to the Medical College of Wisconsin to assist medical students to better understand anatomy.
After moving to Shorewood, WI, in 1989, she journalized in poetic form, and had an art studio in the 3rd Ward of Milwaukee, WI. Several of her impressionistic paintings won awards in juried art shows. Maureen discovered and embraced the Quaker tradition as an ideal fit to her evolving spiritual beliefs and activism toward inner and world peace. Retiring to Sturgeon Bay, WI, in 2006, she missed the Sunday reflective silence of the Friends Meeting and substituted daily meditating while gazing at nature's glory through her sun room windows as wildlife foraged through her country acreage.
Memorial services were held at Hope Church, Sturgeon Bay, on December 13, 2009 and at the Milwaukee Friends Meeting House, Milwaukee, on December 19, 2009.
Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on December 12, 2009