Mary Marilyn Hennessy died on March 27, 2021 in Park Ridge, IL. She was born in Bloomington, IL on November 20, 1932, daughter of Harry and Mary O'Connor Hennessy. She is survived by her sister, Eileen (the late James) Griffin and brother, Msgr. Doug Hennessy, by her niece Shelia Griffin who provided caring direction for her care in these last years, and four nephews, James (Ester) Griffin, Martin Griffin, Paul (Sevanne) Griffin and Daniel Griffin and several great nephews and a great niece. Marilyn also helped resettle several families from Laos, Vietnam and Thailand who became almost a second family to her.
Marilyn was educated at Trinity Grade and High School in Bloomington. She then attended Mount Mary College, Milwaukee. She later received an MBA from Loyola University in Chicago.
She began her career as an occupational therapist at Hines Veterans Hospital in Maywood. She later worked for the Curative Workshop in Milwaukee and the Wisconsin State Board of Health before returning to Chicago to work in the National Office of Easter Seals. For a time, she worked with the SSI program in Chicago before returning to Bloomington to care for her ailing father who was widowed in his last years.
She returned to Chicago and became the first professional staff member of the Retirement Research Foundation in 1980. As the Foundation grew, she became its President and in retirement was a Trustee of the Foundation. She retired from the Foundation in 2008. Throughout her long career Marilyn was an insightful, compassionate, generous colleague, as well as friend and mentor to many.
Marilyn was a long-standing member of Immaculate Conception Church. Visitation will be at Immaculate Conception Church, 1431 N. North Park Avenue, Chicago from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Due to Covid restrictions the Funeral Mass will be private. To attend the funeral mass virtually at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 30, 2021, visit Marilyn's obituary page at donnellanfuneral.com
. Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, Normal, IL.
Memorials in her honor may be made to the Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly, 355 N. Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60607.
or (847) 675-1990.
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Published by Chicago Tribune on Mar. 29, 2021.