Bock Funeral Home

1500 Mt. Royal Boulevard
Glenshaw, PA 15116
412-486-8500

Obituaries:

Jean Wykoff Connelly

Monday, January 11, 2021

Jean Wykoff Connelly died peacefully in her home on January 11, 2021.  She was born June 5, 1923, in the village of Venango, Pennsylvania, the daughter of W. Leslie Wykoff and Margaret Mead Wykoff, both of Crawford County before moving to North East, Pennsylvania, in 1925.   From 1945-1947, Jean taught at Stonycreek High School in Shanksville, PA before marriage took her to Missoula, Montana.  It was there that she began her 40-year broadcast career at the CBS affiliate station, KGVO Radio.  In 1949 she returned to Pittsburgh to work at the city's first and only TV station, WDTV. When studio facilities were ready she went on the air as host of Pittsburgh's first magazine-type program (Home Edition), eventually to become known as The Jean Connelly Show during which the station became KDKA. In 1959 she joined WTAE where her program format included current civic and social happenings, demonstrations, and interviews with both local and visiting celebrities.  Her program gained national publicity in TV Mirror, Glamour, and McCall's magazines.  In all, she wrote, produced, and hosted over 5,000 half-hour programs. By 1975 she elected to leave her on-air schedule to become the station's Director of Public Service, a position she held until her retirement in 1988.  Jean received AFTRA's first Outstanding Woman in Broadcasting award in 1967.  The Allegheny County Commissioners declared June 9, 1988, as Jean Connelly Day in Pittsburgh and in 2002 the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters inducted her into its Hall of Fame as a pioneer in Pittsburgh television. She was a long-time member and board person of the Pittsburgh Radio and Television Club, the Press Club, and a national charter member of American Women in Radio and Television.  For 25 years she was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children.  All of this while she pursued her love of pets and gardening on her beloved Blue Sky estate. Jean is predeceased by her husband of 41 years, William J. Connelly, Jr.  She is survived by three children: Kathleen Murphy of North East, Pennsylvania, William (Chip) Connelly of Pittsburgh, and Marcy Gookin of Indian River Shores, Florida.  She also has five grandchildren:  Ann, Kate, and David Gookin; Phillip Hubbard, and William (Liam) Connelly. A celebration of Jean’s life is planned for the Spring when it can be done safely together. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, 201 N. Bellefield Ave., Pittsburgh PA 15213-1499. Arr. by Bock Funeral Home, Ltd. Glenshaw.

 

Condolences

Gail 14-Jan-2021 08:54 AM

She was a very good "friend" of the library. She was such a kind lady. She will be missed.

Barb Boniker 15-Jan-2021 08:42 PM

Jean and I participated in water classes at CDP pool for several years. She was a lot of fun. We shared a love of dogs and gardens. A gentle and genuine lady. A life well lived.
My sympathy on her loss.

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