Nicole Marie Barbato Connolly

Nicole Barbato Connolly, a beloved wife, daughter, sister, aunt, godmother, friend, and teacher, passed away on Saturday, December 4, following a hard-fought battle with cancer. Nicole passed in her home in Morris Plains, surrounded by people that loved her dearly. Nicole was born at Dover General Hospital on December 29, 1980, and grew up in Mt. Olive Township, New Jersey. A brilliant and gifted student, Nicole was 13th in her class at Mt. Olive High School, and received a scholarship to Rutgers University. She studied History at Rutgers, graduated with Honors in 2003, and was inducted into Phi Betta Kappa. Nicole also earned a Master’s degree in education from Rutgers in 2004, and was a teacher for 17 years, 15 of which were spent at Roxbury High School in Succasunna, New Jersey. A marvelous, passionate, and dedicated educator, Nicole touched the lives of thousands of students, parents and colleagues, as a classroom teacher, club and class advisor, and union leader. She was adored by the Roxbury community. In July of 2019, Nicole married the love of her life, James Connolly, another History teacher at Roxbury High School. They went on countless adventures together, traveling across North America and Europe, tasting as much of life as they could. In the Spring of 2021, they fulfilled a lifelong dream when they purchased their home in Morris Plains, New Jersey, a community of which Nicole was deeply proud. Nicole was kind, generous, passionate, fun, brilliant, and beautiful. She loved history, romance, music, dancing, laughing, fashion, food, travel, friendship, and cats. She was also a giver, volunteering at and donating to numerous charities and non-profit organizations. Nicole was a person who always selflessly put others before herself. She enriched the lives of everyone around her, and made the world a better place, through her smile, warmth, and compassion. Nicole will live on forever in the hearts of all who knew her. Nicole is survived by her husband James Connolly, mother Joanne Barbato, twin brother Stephen Barbato, sister Laura Barbato, step-mother Natalie Sylvester, as well as cousins, nieces, nephews, godchildren, and many devoted friends. A viewing was held at Dangler Funeral Home in Morris Plains on Friday, December 10, from 4-8 PM. On Saturday, December 11, at 9:30 AM, a funeral mass was held at St. Virgil’s Church, Morris Plains. The funeral mass was followed by burial at Stanhope Union Cemetery in Mt. Olive Township at 11:15 AM. In lieu of flowers, you may make a donation in Nicole’s name to a cancer charity of your choice, such as the National Cancer Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, or the Cancer Research Institute.

 

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