George M. Hennessey, 91, Chief of East Haven Fire Department (ret.), passed away peacefully on March 22, 2019 at St. Raphael Campus of Yale New Haven Hospital. George, or better known as "Pa George" to friends and family, was born April 8, 1927 in New Haven to Frank and Ida (Reid) Hennessey. George is survived by his four devoted children, Kathleen Coniglio (John) of Shelton, Tom Hennessey (Linda) of East Haven, Scott Hennessey (Julie) of Wallingford and Patty MacNeil (John) of Branford along with twelve grandchildren, Paul Coniglio (Brooke), Kara Swezey (Michael), Matthew Hennessey, Sara Askins (Mason), Connor Hennessey (Haley), Tom Hennessey (Jessica), Michael Hennessey (Victoria), Steven Hennessey, Patrick Hennessey, Tyler MacNeil, Paige MacNeil and Aiden MacNeil. George is also survived by eight great-grandchildren, Jake Coniglio, Matt Coniglio, JD Swezey, Teddy Swezey, Michael Hennessey, Joseph Hennessey, Olivia Hennessey and Isabella Hennessey. George leaves four surviving siblings, Ellen Goodwin of MA, Francis Hennessey of FL, Edie Richards of East Haven and Robert Hennessey of Old Saybrook. George was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Betty (Bradley) Hennessey (2005), son Dr. Russell Hennessey, brothers, William Hennessey, Donald Hennessey and his sister, June Carrano.
Early in George's life, George honorably and proudly served his country as a member of the United States Navy during World War II, 1945-1948. Following the war, George married Betty Bradley in 1948 and had five wonderful children. In addition to being a devoted husband and father, George was a dedicated servant to his community. George's sixty years of community service began when he joined the East Haven Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter. George was quickly hired on as a Fireman in 1961, and subsequently earned to serve as Battalion Chief (1971) and Fire Marshal (1983). In recognition of George's dedication to the Town of East Haven and the East Haven Fire Department, George was honored with an appointment to serve as East Haven's Fire Chief in 1987. George proudly served his town as Chief up until his retirement in 1992.
During his time at the Fire Department, George, along with the help of his beloved wife Betty, solidified his connection with the residents of East Haven during his time operating the neighborhood Deli-Mart on Gerrish Avenue. Often, Pa George would be found slicing lunchmeat and enjoying casual conversations with his neighborhood friends and customers. Above all else, George was amazingly proud of his family and their many accomplishments. George was a wonderful role model and inspiration to his family. It always made George proud and happy to hear the successes of his loving children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.