CONTRIBUTED

Mick loved his family, business

MICK Connolly was one of life's true gentlemen.

He was instrumental in establishing Gladstone women's rugby union and he was a huge Harley Davidson fan.

He was the friendly face at Jax Tyres on Tank St, a business he and his wife Janette owned for 20 years.

Being a husband to Janette and father to his sons, Dave and Alby, was what he loved most though.

The 62-year-old died on June 16 at the Wesley Hospital after a brutal fight with cancer.

"We would live together, work together and just sit here and talk for hours at home," Mrs Connolly said.

"We were soul mates and he was a brilliant dad."

Mick was born on March 25, 1953, in Bowenville. He was a twin to Denise and sibling to Margaret, Tom, Ursula and Cathy.

He boarded at De La Salle Catholic College in Brisbane and when he left school, returned home to drive tractors for $1 an hour.

Mick joined the ANZ bank in Oakey and was then transferred to the ANZ bank in Crow's Nest where he met a special woman.

"He worked with a bubbly, attractive, blonde country girl, Janette Vonhoff," the eulogy read.

"He thought he'd like to ask out this good sort with a beautiful smile. So began the 31 year partnership of Mick and Janette."

The couple married on March 31, 1984. They moved to Rockhampton, Blackwater and in 1990 Mick was transferred to the ANZ bank in Gladstone.

Dave and Alby were born in 1987 and 1989.

Mick spent all of his spare time with the boys, fishing, camping, playing footy, BMX, and soccer.

Mick was a life member of GRUFS, vital in organising and refereeing for the Rugby 7s tournament and head coach of the women's rugby union team.

Mick loved to be busy. He left ANZ after 20 years and purchased Caltex Tank St with Janette.

They set up Tank St Tyres which then became Jax Tyres.

Long-term employee and current manager of the shop Kieran Sweeney would miss Mick dearly.

"If you ever needed a hand, Mick helped you," Mr Sweeney said.

"I went through a rough patch with my ex-wife and Mick and Janette paid for all my lawyer fees. I have the utmost respect for them."

Mr Sweeney said he was constantly astounded by Mick's work ethic.

"He was involved in so much and it's so hard to comprehend that he managed to run a business six days a week and did sport," he said.

"He was an all-round good bloke."

Unfortunately Mick had a tough battle with illness over the past four years, starting with prostate cancer which was removed in 2011.

Mick then grew a soft tissue sarcoma, which is a rare and aggressive form of cancer. He also had a heart attack.

After the cancer was removed, it returned and spread throughout his body, claiming his life in the end.

Mrs Connolly said her husband would never be forgotten.

"He was born a fighter and his battle with cancer epitomised who he was," she said in the eulogy.

"Mick seemed to have a distinct impression on people and all he wanted to do was help."

 

- LAURA McKEE



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