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The Honorable Francis Xavier HENNESSY
Molloy Funeral Home
906 Farmington Avenue
West Hartford, CT

HENNESSY, The Honorable Francis Xavier

The Honorable Francis Xavier Hennessy, devoted husband, loving father, doting grandfather and gifted jurist, passed from this life on Tuesday, (January 15, 2013). He was 82. Judge Hennessy began his judicial service when he was appointed as a Judge of the Juvenile Court by then governor Ella Grasso in 1976. Through his judicial career he served as the first Administrative Judge of the combined Family and Juvenile Division of the Superior Court, served on the Appellate Session of the Superior Court, authored numerous opinions sitting by invitation on the Connecticut Supreme Court and served as Deputy Chief Court Administrator. He was elevated to the Appellate Court in 1994 and retired from the court in 2000. He continued his service as an Appellate Trial Referee until his death. Judge Hennessy was a strong advocate for equal access to the courts for women and minorities, co-chairing the Connecticut Task Force on Gender Justice and the Courts, and Connecticut's Task Force on Minority Fairness. He was also recognized as a national leader in Juvenile Justice Reform, emphasizing rehabilitation over punishment for juvenile offenders. In addition to his legal career, Judge Hennessy served his country with bravery in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He received the Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman's Badge. He also served on the National Board of Directors of the American Heart Association, the Connecticut's State Library Board, on the Sheriff's Advisory Board, and the State Gaming Commission. While in the private practice of law, Hennessy served as Democratic Town Chairman of Windsor and was an advisor to a number of statewide political campaigns including the gubernatorial campaigns of Emilio "Mim" Daddario and Ella Grasso. Judge Hennessy leaves behind his wife of fifty-five years Mary Frances (Callery) Hennessy, his daughter Maura Hennessy Shaw and her husband Steve Shaw of Washington D.C., son, Mark Hennessy of West Hartford, son Matthew Hennessy and his wife Barbara of Hartford, and daughter Margaret Mary Hennessy Knight and her husband Tom Knight of Washington D.C. He also leaves behind his grandchildren John Knight, Grace Hennessy, Teddy Knight, Finian Knight, Cormac Knight, and Patrick Hennessy. Judge Hennessy was born on September 11, 1930, in New York City. He began his working career as a member of the Pipe Coverers Union, later graduated from Fordham University under the G.I. Bill and received his law degree from the University of Connecticut.
Calling hours will be from 4-8 p.m. Friday, January 18, 2013 at the Molloy Funeral Home, 906 Farmington Ave., West Hartford and a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the Church of St. Timothy, 1116 N. Main St., West Hartford at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 19, 2013. Entombment will follow in Mt. St. Benedict Cemetery, Bloomfield. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Timothy Middle School, 225 King Philip Drive, West Hartford, CT 06117 or Lawyers for Children America, 151 Farmington Avenue, RW61 Hartford, CT 06156-3124. Directions and online expressions of sympathy may be made at

Published by Hartford Courant on Jan. 17, 2013.
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10 Entries
To the Hennessy Clan,

I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. The beach will certainly never be the same with out the Judge's wisdom and quick wit. He will be missed.

You are all in my prayers,

Judith Marie
Judith Marie
January 30, 2013
Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Frank was a great guy and will be missed.
Dick and Lynn McNamara
January 24, 2013
Matt, Meg and Mrs H--Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. May God Bless the "Judge" and all of you. He was a wonderful man and will be remembered fondly by all who had the privilege of knowing him.
Kevin & Katie Baker & Family
January 18, 2013
Dear Famly,

We are sorry to hear of your loss.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Stan and Alice (Sawka) Chudecki
January 17, 2013
Mrs. Hennessy and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. In sympathy,

Astread Ferron -Poole (NWC '83)
Astread Ferron-Poole
January 17, 2013
Judge Hennessy exemplified the finest qualities of an excellent judge: he was attentive, patient, prepared, and decisive. He was also a gentleman and a great storyteller. My condolences to Mrs. Hennessy, Matt and the rest of the family.
Michael Shea
January 17, 2013
On behalf of Principal/Chief Administrator Margaret Williamson and the entire Northwest Catholic High School community, I offer my deepest sympathy on the passing of Francis Xavier Hennessy.

Because his wife, retired NWC English teacher Mary Frances Hennessy, and his children Maura Hennessy Shaw '76, Mark Hennessy '77, Matthew Hennessy '88, and Margaret Hennessy Knight '89 are cherished members of our school family, we feel that Francis was, too, and we mourn his death along with all those who love him.

Please know that we are holding Mary and everyone in the Hennessy family very close to our hearts this week, and that we will include Francis on the prayer list at our next schoolwide Mass. We are very sorry for your loss.

~ Kimberly Sanders, Director of Communications, Northwest Catholic High School
Kimberly Sanders
January 17, 2013
Mrs. Hennessy,
Sincerest sympathies.
Terri-Ann (Trifari) Sands
January 17, 2013
Frank was the embodiment of quiet strength, easy grace, thoughtful work, a subtle but brilliant sense of humor, and unmatched dedication to his family and his ideals. All of these spread to everyone and everything he was involved in. I've nothing to do with law, but I think I learned as much from him as from any deliberate mentor. Godspeed and thank you, and our thoughts and prayers are with Mary Fran, Maura, Mark, Matt and Meg and their families.
John Pellino
January 17, 2013
"So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side."(Pilgrim's Progress)--friend, mentor, colleague,man of faith--
Barbara J Ruhe
January 17, 2013
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