In his working life, John traveled to over 95 different countries for Paxton. In an interview with Forbes Life magazine in 2009, John Connolly reflected on working and living in Afghanistan.
This is an excerpt: Like many foreign companies in Kabul, Paxton houses its employees in a no-frills compound, with offices and sleeping quarters under the same roof. There's no space for outdoor recreation. Foreign nationals, staff, guards, and visitors eat communally, with the main meal served at noon. "The cook and his repertoire can make a great difference to your quality of life," Connolly notes wryly. He also observed: “Kabul is 6,000 feet above sea level, so you have to be able to deal with that. You've also got to be comfortable with a lot of police presence and convoys of Western soldiers.” And there were many building projects: “The sound of Kabul today is shovels on concrete, because everything is done by hand.” He also spoke of being moved by the sight of landmine victims and beggars “including women in their street with their infants.”
Born in Chicago, Connolly served on the boards of multiple charity organizations, including Medical Bridges and Gifts in Kind, which, in connection with Paxton, were able to help countless people around the world.
He was surrounded by family members when he passed away on February 9th. Connolly is survived by his wife Christina, daughter Jennifer Graybill; sons John and James, and grandsons Jonathan and Joaquin, mother Dorothy, three sisters; Susan Socha, Mary Connolly and Jean Ivaska, and brother William.