Sherryl Connelly

Obituary of Sherryl Connelly

Longtime Daily News books writer Sherryl Connelly has died. She was 65.

Connelly passed away at her home in Bloomfield, N.J., due to an apparent heart condition.

“My mom was a wonderful, silly, caring person who was loved by everyone who ever met her,” said her daughter Miranda Gooding. “She was an amazing mother and she will be missed very much.”

Connelly, first hired by The News in 1980, was a book writer and reviewer, editor and features reporter over the course of a decadeslong career at the paper. She continued to pen freelance pieces, earning her last byline just two weeks ago.

Colleagues remembered her quick wit, generous nature and love of reading.

“Sherryl was incredibly talented. She was wickedly funny. Very, very sharp,” said Colleen Curtis, a former editor and friend. “She was generous with her time, with her knowledge. She was generous with advice. She mentored younger reporters.”

Connelly made a point of championing lesser-known writers whose work she thought deserved wider attention.

“She was always excited to introduce readers to new talent,” Curtis said.

Connelly was originally from Canada and had lived for years in New Jersey but “considered herself a New Yorker at heart,” said Eloise Parker, who worked with Connelly in the features department.

“We bonded right away, and her office was a haven of fascinating conversation and piles of books. She had a knack for matching a book to a reviewer who would get the most out of it. She was a nurturing, kind and encouraging editor,” Parker said.

“In the past year, Sherryl and I grew very close. We systematically worked our way around every food establishment in the city that served afternoon tea.”

Between staying up late devouring the latest book releases and indulging in her recent discovery of TV on demand, Connelly had begun work on a memoir of her own, Parker said.

“After decades championing other authors, she had begun work on her own memoir, a collection of anecdotes and ideas, weaving together her life as a daughter, a journalist, a wife, a mother,” she said.

Former News rewriteman Corky Siemaszko said he became friends with Connelly in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, when cars weren’t allowed into Manhattan with only one person and the two would drive in together from New Jersey.

“Her thing was books, but she threw herself into reporting the tragedy like the rest of us,” he said. “She rode shotgun with me for months, and we would have these great conversations about what was happening, the enormity of it all. We really talked it through. It was like our therapy in a way.”

Robert Dominguez, a senior editor at The News, said on top of being a “very sharp, quick-witted woman and an excellent writer,” it was Connelly who organized after-work outings and showed newer reporters the ropes.

“She was the veteran who made sure everyone was made to feel like we were all part of the team,” he said.

In addition to her daughter, Connelly is survived by two brothers, Kevin and Michael.

Written by Erin Durkin of The Daily News

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a charity of your choice.