Connecticut Jewelers Mourned

February 4, 2005

Connecticut Jewelers Mourned

A day of mourning was declared Feb. 4 in Fairfield, CT, with all flags to be flown at half-staff, to honor Timothy and Kimberly Ann Donnelly, both 52, who were jewelers in the town, say local newspapers. The Donnellys were shot and killed in their store Feb. 2 and a suspect has been identified. "This is a horrific tragedy in the heart of our community," said Fairfield First Selectman Kenneth Flatto. "Our hearts go out to the family. It's the first time in a generation that we've had any serious fatal shooting like this."

Numerous flowers were left in front of the store Thursday. "Goodbye Tim and Kimberly," was written with a heart on a sidewalk sign nearby. The Donnelly family issued a statement thanking police and the community for an outpouring of support. The couple were high school sweethearts. "Kim and Tim are about and have always been about togetherness, family, community and beauty," the family said.

The Donnellys, who have two children in their 20s, took pride in fixing watches and finding the perfect jewelry for special occasions, their friend Maria Regan said. They often charged little more than their costs. "That's the way they did business," Regan said. "They didn't care if they made a profit. They struggled since day one."

The Donnellys started selling jewelry out of a kiosk in a New Haven mall in 1980, according to the store's Web site. They moved to Fairfield in 1987 and have become a town institution during the last 18 years, residents and business owners told local news reporters last night. "Other stores come and go, but that place was a fixture," says Susan Levinson, a Fairfield resident who shopped there because of the couple's collection of Irish and Celtic jewelry.

"They were staples here," said Kathy Roberts, who works at the Centro Bar and Restaurant across the street from the couple's store. "We've had at least a dozen people in here tonight who knew them well."

Chad Hunter, 19, said he became friends with Timothy Donnelly because the jeweler shopped at his mother's grocery store. Hunter remembered telling Donnelly about his goal of becoming a police officer. "I'll always remember what he said to me," Hunter recalled. "He said, 'Never be afraid of the distance between reality and your dreams.' That always stuck with me." Hunter is studying criminal justice at John Jay College in New York City, he said.

The Donnellys were members of the Independent Jewelers Organization and had many friends in the industry, reported other IJO members.

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