School 14

Dorothy V. (Connors) Hennessey

March 30, 1928 ~ August 16, 2022 (age 94)
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Dorothy “Dot” Hennessey, 94, of Wharton, N.J, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, surrounded by her loving family. Dot was born on March 30, 1928 and grew up in Rahway, NJ, the oldest of three children. She attended St. Peter’s High School in Jersey City and Saint Elizabeth’s College in Convent Station, NJ. She remained close with her “St. E’s” classmates her whole life and attended many reunions. Dot married the love of her life, Paul, on June 26, 1954 and they celebrated their 68th anniversary this summer. They spent the early years of their married life in Savannah, Georgia, and Tonowanda, New York, before relocating to Wharton, NJ in 1962. With a family of 7 kids, they embraced all the town had to offer including public parks, pool, and tennis courts. Amazingly, while raising 7 kids, Dot also was elected to two terms on the Wharton Town Council. She successfully wrote a grant proposal for building a new town library, which is the current Wharton Library, and her picture is on display there. Dot resigned from the Town Council to become the Director of the Library, which she did until she retired. She met and befriended so many people through her library work, especially her dear friend Marion Caccavale. She supported not just the town government and the library, but actively contributed to local events such as Canal Day. She and Paul spent many hours over the years walking the towpath along the Canal.

Dot was happiest when her house was filled with the bustle of family and friends. She hosted countless family dinners and holidays, including an open house on St. Patricks Day where it seemed the whole town would gather. She had a famous Irish soda bread recipe and made the world’s best mac and cheese.  She also made creamed onions which were somewhat less enthusiastically received. Dot believed in table manners and the 7 children knew how to set a full, proper place setting, and knew not to begin eating until the host (mom) raised her fork first. One dinner Dot fumed that there were to be NO sweatshirts at the dinner table, but was able to belly laugh at the end of her rant when one child quietly pointed out that she was wearing one. 

Dot was an avid gardener. Right up until she was in her 90’s, Dot would spend hours weeding and planting.  She grew flowers and Paul grew vegetables. The trees they picked out together. Over the years they converted our dustbowl of a backyard into a lush, private oasis. Dot volunteered at the Morris County Arboretum, where there is a tree honoring her and her husband’s service.  Dot also loved travel. With Paul, she traveled in the U.S. and Europe and relished learning about the culture and history of the places they visited. She particularly enjoyed Paris and always made sure to visit “La Vie En Rose” in the 9th Arrondissement to buy her granddaughters beautiful, hand-smocked dresses.

Dot’s 20 grandchildren lit up her world and nothing made her happier. She had an amazing ability to remember each grandchild’s likes and propensities. In person or on the phone, she loved to engage with each one and ask them about their job, school, or just life. Dot was also a longtime member of St. Mary’s Church, Wharton, and served as a Eucharistic minister for years. 

Dot is survived by six of her children (spouse), Edward Hennessey (Janet), Michael Hennessey (Cathy), Sean Hennessey (Michelle), Brendan Hennessey (Cathy Berggren), Emmett (Janet), and Maura Hennessey Appelson (Steve), twenty grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren who fondly call her Gram. She was predeceased by her daughter, Bridget Hennessey. 

Visitation will be held on Friday, August 19th from 5pm - 8pm at Bermingham’s Funeral Home, 216 South Main Street, Wharton, NJ. A mass of Christian burial will be held on Saturday, August 20th at 10am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 425 W Blackwell St, Dover, NJ. Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hurd Street, Mine Hill, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Morris Park Alliance, which includes the Morris County Arboretum, at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dorothy V. (Connors) Hennessey, please visit our floral store.

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August 19, 2022

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Bermingham Funeral Home
216 S. Main Street
Wharton, NJ 07885

Mass of Christian Burial
August 20, 2022

10:00 AM
St. Mary's Church
371 South Main Street (GPS)
Wharton, NJ 07885

Interment following funeral service
August 20, 2022

St. Mary's Cemetery
Hurd Street
Mine Hill, NJ 07803


Morris County Arboretum/Morris Park Alliance
PO Box 1295, Morristown NJ 07962
Tel: 1-973-631-5273

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