Mark Connolly remembered as ‘committed public servant’ at memorial service

  • Longtime friend and colleague Scott Kirby plays the guitar at the beginning of the Mark Connonly memorial service at the Concord Audi on Wednesday. Connolly died on April 13th in California at the age of 63. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Terri Lareau, fiancee of Mark Connolly, reads a letter she shared at his memorial service at the Concord Audi on Wednesday.

  • Flowers at the memorial service for Mark Connolly at the Concord Audi on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Fellow artist and longtime friend Patrick Healey pauses during his remembrances of former New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate Mark Connolly at his memorial service at the Concord City Auditorium on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 5/8/2019 5:22:35 PM

A memorial service for Mark Connolly, former director of the state Bureau of Securities Regulation and Democratic candidate for governor, was one of sadness, but also a celebration of a life well lived.

“He was an excellent public servant who loved life and enjoyed every moment of his life,” said Salem state Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, one of the speakers at the three-hour event Wednesday at the Concord City Auditorium

“I knew him when he was a youngster and he was a friend of mine since the early 1970s,” D’Allesandro said. “It was an honor to be asked by his family to give a tribute to him.”

Connolly, a resident of Newcastle, died early Saturday morning on April 13 at a home he shared with his fiance Terri Lareau in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 63.

“Mark was a wonderful friend, committed public servant and a man of great integrity,” said Concord state Sen. Dan Feltes who attended Wednesday’s service. “He’s going to be missed by so many dear friends, our community, and it’s a great loss to the state New Hampshire.”

Connolly ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2016, losing to Colin Van Ostern in the Democratic primary. Republican Chris Sununu went on to win the general election.

In 2002, Secretary of State Bill Gardner named Connolly the director of Bureau of Securities Regulation, where he oversaw and enforcement of the state’s securities laws and the licensing of the state’s investment brokers and advisors. Connolly resigned in 2010 after the FRM ponzi scheme defrauded multiple investors of their life savings. Connolly accused state officials of being more interested in playing the blame game rather than helping the victims, according to New Hampshire Business Review.

 “He is the only person who had the courage,” FRM victim Al McIlvene told the Monitor in 2016. “The governor didn’t have it, the banking commissioner didn’t have it, the attorney general’s office didn’t have it.”

An expert on Ernest Hemmingway, Connolly became an author himself after retiring from the state, writing “Cover-Up: One Man’s Pursuit of the Truth Amid the Government Failure to End a Ponzi Scheme.”

“Hemingway must have had a person of Mark’s stature in mind when he wrote: ‘The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice,’” the family wrote in his obituary.

(Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.)

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