Mike Connelly, executive VP of business affairs at Cherry Lane Music Publishing, died on Dec. 7 in Beacon, N.Y., after a decade-long battle with cancer. He was 56.

Connelly, who had been with Cherry Lane for 24 years, was "one of the key people leading the development and growth of our company to its present status as one of the world's most prestigious independent music publishing companies," Cherry Lane CEO Peter Primont said in a statement.

"Over the course of the last 10 years, Mike battled cancer valiantly," he continued. "He never once complained and always maintained a positive outlook on life. Mike was a friend, mentor, leader, and true inspiration. He will forever be part of the Cherry Lane fabric.

A wake will be held tomorrow (Dec. 11) at the Halvey Funeral Home at 24 Willow Street, Beacon, N.Y., 12508 (845.831.0380). The funeral mass will be held Dec. 12 at 11:45 a.m. at Our Lady Of Loretto Catholic Church (24 Fair Street, Cold Spring, N.Y., 10516; 845.265.3718).

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be sent to The Dominican Sisters of Saint Rose of Lima, who care for people afflicted with incurable cancer. Donations can be sent to The Dominican Sisters of Saint Rose of Lima -- 600 Linda Avenue Hawthorne, N.Y., 10532-1362 (hawthorne-dominicans.org).

A scholarship fund will also soon be established in Connelly's name, while an industry Memorial Service will be scheduled in New York City in early January.