Honorable John Dennis (Denny) (Papa) Healey, died in Naples, FL of complications due to Parkinson's Disease on Tuesday, February 26.
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He was a gentleman, in the true sense of the word, a gentle man. A man disposotionally well suited to his career. A faith-filled loving husband to his heart broken wife and soulmate of 51 years, Donna (Ventresca). A caring father to his devoted children and their families Pamela, Maria and Merry of Swampscott and Brian, Kathy, Ben and Nick of Peabody. Alison greeted him at heaven's gate along with his Mom and Dad, Helvi and Jack. His steadfast brothers Bob and Rick and their wives Chris and Mary and families of Connecticut bear this heavy grief with his extended family and friends.
A life-long Peabody resident, he was a graduate of: Thomas Carroll Elementary School in 1958 where he was known as John, Peabody Veterans Memorial High School in 1961, University of Massachusetts at Amherst in1965, and Suffolk University Law School in 1970 where at all three he was known as Denny. All of his education helped to prepare him for a rich life of public service.
This service began in Salem as the Executive
Director of the North Shore ARC, then known as the Association for Retarded Children. That was followed by his position as an Aide to Congressman Michael Harrington, Salem Office. During his time in private law practice at Ronan, Segal and Harrington of Salem, he was appointed by Mayor Peter Torigian as Assistant
City Solicitor for the City of Peabody. He served on many boards. One near and dear to him was the Regional Council for Mental Health. He was appointed to the Bench at Peabody District Court in 1985 by Governor Michael Dukakis and served as a Justice in Essex County for 22 years. He retired from the Bench in 2006 while serving in the Salem District Court. Appreciative of his retirement years, they were joyfully spent in Naples, FL at Foxfire where his love of warmth and golf was enhanced by the camaraderie of good friends. During all of that time and up until now he was known mostly as Dennis with an occasional Denny or John thrown in always telling us from what point in his life that person knew him.
His grandchildren, who called him Papa, brought him immense joy. And, his relationships throughout his lifetime sustained him. Thank you for being a part of his life. Keep his spirit with you by whatever name you called him and wish him "fairways and greens." He was one of the "good guys."
The family thanks the competent, compassionate, staff at the Avow Frances Georgeson Hospice House in Naples, FL for their loving, gentle care that eased his way.
Funeral services were private. Please join a grateful family for a Celebration of His Life on Saturday, March 16 at The Hawthorne Hotel in Salem from 12 – 4 p.m.