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October 20, 2020

Vincent L. Hennessy Jr.

Born January 24th 1941 to Vincent L. Hennessy Sr. and Mary Young Hennessy while his father was serving in the Navy in the Pacific theatre during World War II, Vincent Lawrence Hennessy Jr. (known as Vin or Vinny to his friends) all his life remembered meeting his father at South Station in Boston when he returned from his wartime service halfway around the world.

Vin was a pitcher in Little League and retained into his middle age a mean fastball that he deployed with intimidating effect in snowball fights with his children.  He also enjoyed science experiments of all kinds, which was sometimes dangerous to himself and those around him.  One memorable bottle rocket ignited inside the house and shot a hole through his pant leg.

His family lived on Scott Rd. in Belmont when he was born and later moved to Fletcher Rd. during his high school years.  He had many fond memories of growing up in Belmont, including racing his father home from Mass.  There were many children in his neighborhood and he enjoyed his friendships with them into adulthood.

One of the most important occurrences of his middle school years was the first time he heard a saxophone.  He immediately decided that he wanted to play and thus began a lifelong love affair with jazz, the clarinet and the saxophone.  His kids’ great challenge throughout his life was finding any jazz work or book that he didn’t already own to give him what he wanted most for his birthday and Christmas.

Vin attended Belmont High and graduated with the class of 1958.  He ran track and played in a number of bands.  He continued to pursue those same interests at Harvard College, graduating in 1962 after having to take a year off to heal from a very serious back surgery after his sophomore year.

That back surgery was another catalytic event in his life.  Impressed by the dedication and expertise of the surgeon and other medical professionals who attended to him as he recuperated he decided to pursue a medical career even though it necessitated a change of major and many grueling hours of summer school to catch up to his fellow pre-med majors.  Vin remained grateful to his sister Kathleen (Kathy) who recommended that he join her in Cleveland to attend Case Western Reserve Medical School where he graduated in 1967.

Vin was very dedicated to his career and felt it was his calling to help other people with his medical training.  He sought the best training from the best people in pursuing his dream of becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon.  His training took him and his family across the country to California, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania in the short span of about ten years.  He always worked long hours and even studied at home to stay up to speed on the latest surgical techniques.  Chairs in his house streamed strings of knots evidencing his constant practice of his craft.

Vin finished his career in surgery in private practice operating at South Shore Hospital for almost 25 years.  He very much enjoyed the intelligent, caring individuals he worked with in his practice and at the hospital, but most of all, he cherished his patients.

The family would like to thank Linden Ponds for caring for Vin throughout the last eight months of his life as well as those medical professionals at Massachusetts General Hospital and South Shore Hospital who managed his care.  Vin is survived by his four children, Michael Hennessy of Kaysville, Utah, Lauren Hennessy of San Diego, California, Karen Hennessy of Reading, Massachusetts and Kevin Hennessy of Bedford, Massachusetts, his six grandchildren and his partner of eleven years, Marilyn Bluestein.  He was preceded in death by his former wife Regina Hennessy, his parents, his sister, Kathleen Stoll, and his daughter-in-law, Becky Hennessy.  

In a nod to Vin’s commitment to caring for the health of those around him and his commitment to science, services for him will be held in the springtime when it is safe for all who loved him to gather together to remember him.  If you wish to be included in the services, please send an email to: vlhmemorial@gmail.com