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Richard Hennessey

Richard J. Hennessey

Sunday, March 8th, 1931 - Saturday, May 2nd, 2020
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Obituary

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
––Winston Churchill

Richard James Hennessey of West Hartford, beloved husband, father and grandfather passed peacefully at The Reservoir Nursing Home on May 2, 2020 with his loving family at his bedside. Richard was born in Hartford, CT on March 8, 1931, the youngest of six children born to William J. and Abigail (Lennon) Hennessey. He is predeceased by his wife Marianne (Bolling) Hennessey and survived by his children, Charles Hennessey of West Hartford and his fiancée Sharon Reed of Farmington; Chief MSgt. Eric Hennessey, USAF (Ret) and his wife Deborah of Fredericksburg, VA; Chief MSgt. Mark Hennessey, CT Air National Guard and his wife Martha of West Hartford; Marguerite (Rita) Hennessey of Milford, CT and his grandchildren Melissa, Sean, and Stephen Hennessey of Fredericksburg and Michael and Rachel Hennessey of West Hartford and a host of beloved nieces and nephews. Richard considered his greatest gift in life to be his family who love, respect, and support each other. A lifelong Yankees fan, his only disappointment was his children and grandchildren becoming Red Sox fans. He took great satisfaction in his beloved New York Football Giants beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Twice.

Richard proudly served in the Connecticut National Guard in 1947 before joining the US Air Force from 1948 to 1968 and retired as a Technical Sergeant. He was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Medal for Humane Action, Army of Occupation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and two Air Force Outstanding Unit awards. Richard’s duty assignments included two tours in Germany; first during the Berlin Airlift in 1948, then ten years later when the Berlin Wall was erected. He served with the US Military Mission to Turkey. It was in Ankara where Richard met the love of his life, Marianne, and Richard became hers. They were married in Sweden in 1955. Other overseas assignments took Richard and his family to Karachi, Pakistan, Wiesbaden, Germany, and Lima, Peru with stateside assignments at Westover AFB, MA, Washington, DC and Denver in between his overseas tours. From a decade of living abroad Richard developed a greater love and appreciation for America that led him to embrace the principles of God, Country and Family.

He was employed in the management of private clubs in the Hartford area and at the former Edelweiss Restaurant of West Hartford. Richard was employed by the Connecticut General Assembly where he served as Sergeant-at-Arms of the State Senate. Richard served his hometown in many ways, including organizing the Memorial Day Parade for many years, and was honored to be Grand Marshal in 2015. He was a state commander of the Disabled American Veterans and a post commander of American Legion Post 96 of West Hartford. He was inducted into the American Legion Hall of Fame in 2012. A gregarious raconteur, Richard never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Richard valued the high quality of health care that he received from the VA. He considered the Newington VA Medical Center a World Class Health Care facility. Richard particularly appreciated the care that he received from Dr. Juan Lopez, Dr. Shutish Patel and Dr. Aniket Sharma, Dr Michael Teiger, the caring aides from Dynamic Touch and especially the staff at The Reservoir nursing home.

His Catholic faith was important to Richard and it sustained and comforted him throughout his life. Richard was a parishioner of the church of Our Lady of Sorrows of Hartford. Father John Higgins visited often when Richard could no longer attend Mass. Father Higgins was a major source of support in Richard’s final days.

Due to the pandemic, there will be no calling hours or public funeral Mass. Richard will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery at a time and date to be announced.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Missionaries of LaSalette, 85 New Park Ave., Hartford, CT 06106 or to the Sisters of St Joseph, 27 Park Road, West Hartford, CT 06119. Online condolences may be made a www.SheehanHilbornBreen.com
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Location
    Arlington National Cemetery
    Address
    ARLINGTON, VA
Due to the pandemic, there will be no calling hours or public funeral Mass. Richard will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery at a time and date to be announced. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Missionaries of LaSalette, 85 New Park Ave., Hartford, CT 06106 or to the Sisters of St Joseph, 27 Park Road, West Hartford, CT 06119.

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JL

Janelle Lemire

Posted at 04:43pm
Mr. Hennessey was always an absolute pleasure to be around, either seeing him at Elmwood Bakery, or at the VA in Newington. Always had nice things to say and a fabulous sense of humor! He will be missed by all!
Janelle Lemire
AM

Anne-Marie MacLean

Posted at 11:37am
My father, Tommy Henderson, knew Dick for years and I have many fond memories of times with Dick and my Dad at the Edelweiss. Dick was a wonderful talker and we loved our times with him. So many great conversations. We will say a prayer for all the family and salute his service to this great country!
EP

Elizabeth Panagakos

Posted at 03:28pm
Mr. Hennessey, as my late husband called him, worked together at The Country Club of Farmington. Richard was club Manager and Manny the Chef, who said Mr. Hennessey gave him encouragement and was one of the best human beings he had ever met.
They would talk about Greece were Manny was born and Richard had many a story to tell.
Rest in peace and sincere sympathy to the family.
Elizabeth Panagakos and Family
FO

Fizz Khan OFlynn

Posted at 10:42am
I worked with Richard at the Edelweiss Restaurant in West Hartford Center. Richard was a very giving person and he took our dishwasher, Artie, under his wing and looked after him. He was kindhearted and always in a good mood. I was born in Karachi and Richard used to reminisce about his travels. Rest in Peace Richard. You are fondly remembered. My condolences to his family. Fizz xxx
AF

Alfred Fichman

Posted at 08:21am
I worked with Dick at the Edelweiss for several years. He was a man of honesty and integrity, and was never at a loss for words when it came to his patrons. Half of the people he served were either his friends, or quickly became friends. His smile and spirit were contagious. He will be sorely missed.
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