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The visitation will take place on Saturday, February 24, 2024 starting 10:00AM – 11:00AM EST at the St. Bartholomew Church, located at 6900 River Rd, Bethesda, MD 20817.

The Mass Of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, February 24, 2024 starting 11:00AM – 12:00PM EST at the St. Bartholomew Church, located at 6900 River Rd, Bethesda, MD 20817.   For those unable to attend the service in-person, you can participate remotely by viewing the live stream of the service (please scroll up to see the video).


Barbara A. Connolly (née Bechtold), was born on July 30th, 1926 in Cle Elum, WA. She spent her early years in Roslyn, WA, and later moved with her family to Seattle. The third of four children, Barbara was adventurous and loved the outdoors, often tagging along with her father to go hunting or fishing. After graduating from high school, Barbara chose to go into nursing and became an RN in 1947 at Providence Hospital in Seattle. Her adventurous spirit led her to work in Seattle, Baltimore, San Francisco, and Honolulu. Wherever she went, Barbara found a great circle of friends, explored new places, and deepened her skills as an Operating Room Nurse. In 1957, she joined the Navy Nurse Corps and was assigned to the Bethesda Naval Hospital (NNMC). It was there, in the operating room, where she met her husband, Donald, who was filming a surgical procedure for the Television Project for the NNMC. It wasn’t long before the two were married in 1961 and moved into their first home in Bethesda.

With the birth of their first child, Paul, in 1962, Barbara stopped practicing nursing, and devoted her energies to the adventure of raising a family. Soon followed a daughter, Ann, and another son, Matthew. While raising the children, Barbara was deeply involved in the neighborhood social circles. She hosted parties, joined the Garden Club, served on the Liturgy Committee and as School Nurse at St. Bartholomew Church, and participated actively as a parent volunteer for the Swim Team of Old Georgetown Swim Club. With her wide circle of friends and generous spirit, Barbara always found ways to connect with others. She was often the first person to bring a meal to someone in need or welcome a new person to the neighborhood. A delicious cook and gracious hostess, she and Don enjoyed throwing memorable dinner parties for neighbors and friends.

As the children got older, Barbara returned to nursing and worked at Montgomery General Hospital in Olney, MD, retiring in 1987. She then pursued her lifelong interest in watercolor painting, taking various art classes at Montgomery College and studying at numerous workshops both on the East Coast and in Mexico. Barbara had a brilliant eye for color and composition; she was invited to show her work in various art venues in the area, often as a one-person show. She was happiest sitting at her easel in a sunny corner in her home studio, painting plein-air at a friend’s house in Maine or the streets of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Her interest in studying painting in Mexico drew Barbara and Don to explore the artist colony town of San Miguel de Allende, where they visited regularly for years. In 1998, they purchased a home and began to spend their winters there. They made new friends, became part of the art and theatre world, and volunteered in local schools by administering vaccines and other basic medical care. When Don retired in 1992, they became extensive travelers, embarking on several trips to Europe, Russia, China, and throughout the United States, including a driving trip circuiting from Bethesda to Seattle, Los Angeles, and Texas – 10,000 miles in 10 weeks. In between those trips, they enjoyed visiting with their grandchildren in MD, PA, and NJ, remaining active in their parish and enjoying the cultural life of DC. Barbara continued painting well into her 80s and often showed her artwork at special exhibits in their final home, Knollwood Retirement Community in Northwest, DC.

Pre-deceased by many family members and friends, Barbara is survived by her husband, Donald; their children: Paul Connolly (Jane), Ann Connolly Ralosky (John), and Matthew Connolly; grandchildren: Sarah Ralosky, Samuel Ralosky, Evan Connolly, Grant Connolly, Alexis Connolly, and Quinn Connolly; her sister, Marie Miller; and many treasured nieces and nephews. Visitation will be on February 24th at 10am at St.

Bartholomew Church (6900 River Rd, Bethesda), followed by a mass of Christian burial at 11am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Catholic Charities of Washington, DC.

To send flowers to the family of Barbara, please visit the floral store.