Although he lived abroad for many years, Pat Hennessy never forgot his native Kilkenny and the people he grew up with. The retired journalist worked for legendary Mayor of Chicago, Richard E Daly and was officially commended for his contribution to his adopted city by US president, Barack Obama.
The 93-year-old passed away surrounded by family on September 6. The city native had a big heart and a wonderful sense of humour.
At 21 years of age, he moved to Nottingham ,England where he served in the police department. In 1948, he married his sweetheart, Eileen Grace (sister of the late Paddy Grace, Secretary of Kilkenny County GAA Board) and in 1949 they moved to Chicago. There he worked for the City of Chicago until retirement in 1990. Pat was active in the GAA and in particular the Harry Boland’s Hurling Club. He also worked on Immigration reform, Gaelic Park and the St. Patrick’s Southside Parade. He worked tirelessly for the Canonisation of Blessed Edmund Rice. He received a plaque from Pope John Paul II for his outstanding promotional work on the cause. He was also a committee member of the President John Kennedy Memorial Park in Wexford, the Irish Immigration Committee and the United Irish American Society of Illinois. Patrick was a storyteller and writer for many Irish American newspapers for over 50 years.
He wrote for the Irish Echo for 40 years. He also wrote for the Irish American News, keeping readers abreast of the Gaelic happenings in the Chicago area. Patrick’s greatest joy was being a father, grandfather and uncle to many family and friends. Preceded in death by his parents, 11 brothers and sisters, and wife, Eileen.
He is survived by his daughter, Ellen Hennessy, grandchildren, Colleen, Patrick, Kalynn and Debra, great-granddaughter Grace Harstad and many nieces, nephews, cousins, adopted family and friends. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Brother Rice High School Fund or Medical Missionaries of Mary (4425 West 63rd Street, ste. 100, Chicago, IL 60629) in Pat Hennessy’s name tonwww.andrewmcgann.com