SARASOTA, Fla. — Joseph S. Hennessey Sr., 96, died Sunday morning, June 14, 2020, at home after a courageous battle with multiple illnesses.
He was the beloved husband of Estelle June (Root) Hennessey for over 71 years, and they had a very full life together traveling around the U.S. and Europe. Summer vacations were spent at the cottage he built on Damariscotta Lake in Maine until he moved to Sarasota in 1997. After he and June were married in 1948, they moved to Beacon Falls, Conn., where they raised their children.
Joe was born in Ansonia, Conn., Oct. 22, 1923. He was the son of the late Roy and Victoria May (Stokes) Hennessey. As a child and teenager, he attended Ansonia schools, and when he was 19 years old, he enlisted in the Army. He was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne during WWII and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, earning the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. For his entire life, he was very humble about his role in fighting for his country’s freedom, however where ever he went, he wore his 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles hat.
In his younger years, he was an avid bowler and deer hunter. He also enjoyed helping others in any way he could. Whether it be to fix a plumbing issue, paint a house or replace windows, he wouldn’t refuse to do a favor. He especially loved his wife’s cooking but most importantly her homemade apple pies.
He was employed by Farrell Corporation in Ansonia, Conn., working as a foreman for many years until his retirement in 1982.
In addition to his beloved wife, he is survived by three daughters, Doreen Elnitsky of Middlebury, Conn., Lillian Smith and her husband, Ted, of Beacon Falls, Conn., and Patricia Russo and her husband, William, of Woodbridge, Conn.; his son, Darrin Hennessey of Sarasota; and daughter-in-law, Laurie Hennessey, of Florida. In addition, he leaves his grandchildren Caitlin Elnitsky, Christopher Elnitsky, Erik Martin, Brett Martin, Tyler Martin, Justin Hennessey, Randell Hennessey, Joseph Hennessey III, Darryl Smith, Chad Smith; and three great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his son, Joseph Hennessey Jr.; daughter, Robin McKenna; and three brothers, James, Leroy and Alton Hennessey.