Cover photo for Paul Hennessey's Obituary
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1921 Paul 2016

Paul Hennessey

January 18, 1921 — July 14, 2016

Well, the wanderlust caught up with Dad. His new adventure began on July, 14, 2016. We hope this trip is filled with fun as all the other trips he has had in his 95 years. Dad came by his love of wandering honestly. From the time Dad was born on Rabbit Creek in Perkins County, on January 18, 1921, he was taken by one parent or the other to one place or another. From Dad’s meticulous records, I counted from 1921 to 1941, Dad lived at 21 different places and attended 12 different schools, 6 different high schools alone. He graduated from Faith High School in 1940. Dad’s dad and mom were Bill Hennessy and Sadie Tanner Hennessy. It’s worth noting here the spelling of Hennessy. It’s not the way Dad spelled his name. Somewhere in the 1930’s Dad changed the spelling from Hennessy to Hennessey. Why? Quien Sabe? After high school, Dad headed for Portland Oregon and went to barber college. After graduation, he headed to Washington D.C. where he got a job working for U.S. News and World Report. That lasted until the war, where upon Dad joined the navy and served 6 years. His war years were spent serving on sub hunting destroyers in the Atlantic. Returning home, he met and married Hattie Colleen Hoffman on August 31, 1949, at the Walter Hoffman ranch at Creighton, SD. From this union came daughter, Dixie, and son, Bill. Dad earned a teaching degree from Black Hills State University. In 1953, he up and moved his family to Los Angeles, CA, where he worked as a guard for Pinkertons Detective Agency. He also was a guard for RKO Studios. Returning home to South Dakota in 1958, Dad began a 20 year teaching career in 3 different states and 11 different schools. On top of this, he was also a café owner, justice of the peace, bookmobile driver, and author. Two of Dad’s greatest accomplishments were writing two books, Tipperary and Tin Horn Hank. He was proud of writing the books, but what he loved most was driving a 5 state area trying to sell his books. He loved meeting people and visiting. There were times he bought more books than he sold, but he was just as pumped. Dad eased into retirement. The transition between working and retirement was barely noticeable. In between walking his dog, Pickles, and taking care of his wife, Hattie, Dad filled his hours by writing limericks. If Dad knew you, and liked you, you probably wound up in one of his limericks. Dad wrote hundreds of them, and each and every one of them tickled him. Dad’s world changed after Mom passed in 2002. Being alone, and the drumbeat of time caught up with him in 2008. With a broken hip, the nursing home in Belle Fourche became his new home. All the angels who worked there became his new family. Dad’s last day was a good one, and the number of kisses he got his last night would have embarrassed him. Thank you girls at Belle Fourche Health Care. Grateful in all this are his granddaughter, Callie Bowman, (Matt), grandsons, Cole Hennessey, (McKenzie), John Hausman, (Mia), Rex, (Diana), Max Hausman, Ben Hausman, and TJ Hausman, and his son, Bill Hennessey, (Andrea). He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Hattie; daughter, Dixie Lee Hausman; and sisters, Kay Gray and Wilma Winkler. (Limerick by Callie Hennessey Bowman) A sweet Papa went to Jesus on this warm summer day Without a care in the world, he left on his way. And though I sit back and think for awhile All I can do is move forward and smile. For this man was my Papa, I say. A private graveside service will be held at the Chance Cemetery, in Chance, South Dakota. Arrangements are with Leverington Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche.
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