Edward M. Hennigan
Edward M. Hennigan
  • July 19, 1935 - February 22, 2016
  • Rumford, Rhode Island

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Edward M. Hennigan, formerly of Narragansett and Pawtucket, Rhode Island chose to leave this earth in "the fullness of time" on February 22, 2016. He enjoyed a lifelong love relationship with his wife Mary Susan (Lombardi) Hennigan for almost 56 years. He was the father of Katherine Sarah Deschene of Seekonk, Massachusetts and Neil E. Hennigan of Provincetown, Massachusetts. He was the cherished father-in-law of Daniel J. Deschene as well as the proud grandfather of Emma Katherine Rose and Benjamin Julian Edward Deschene all of Seekonk, Massachusetts.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1935, he was the son of the late William J. Hennigan and Mary Patricia (Fitzgerald) Hennigan. He lost both of his parents between the ages of 12 and 17 but with the love and support of his siblings, William J. Hennigan of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, the late Mary Louise Dauray and James G. Hennigan, he displayed life long courage and tenacity. He was also the uncle of 13 nieces and nephews with whom he bestowed his wisdom through long talks.

The highlight of Edward's career was as the City Planning and Redevelopment Director of Pawtucket. He began his career in Pawtucket as the head of the Planning Division, later becoming the Director of the Planning Department, and retiring from Pawtucket as the Director of both departments. He was a leader and community activist, described as a "great boss" of a large city department. He may also be best characterized as a man whom everyone respected and enjoyed working under his leadership due to his ethical, jovial, and collaborative, yet decisive leadership style. His work was most notable for uniting the Planning and Redevelopment Departments, promoting the development of the Dennis M. Lynch Arena, as well as, advocating successfully in the face of demolition to preserve and restore the Looff Carousel in Slater Memorial Park. This is the oldest Looff Stander Carousel in the world. He also led the renovation of the park and its' sports fields for the children of Pawtucket. Edward was instrumental in the development of Rhode Island's first Children's Museum, now located in Providence. He was involved in the support of youth hockey, and Darlington softball as a coach for the city of Pawtucket and his own children's sports teams. He served on many committees, boards and as a community planner for the state of Rhode Island. He was a solicited consultant for towns and communities including Narragansett and Westerly, Rhode Island.

Edward was a graduate of the University of Rhode Island where he was also a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternal Organization. He graduated from LaSalle Academy and ran for the Cross Country Teams at both LaSalle and the University of Rhode Island. He was a dedicated member of the Warren Rescue Squad where he saved many lives and even helped a woman deliver a baby on her kitchen floor. He was known by his family to be calm during any crisis or medical situation. As boy he achieved status as an Eagle Scout.

In his leisure time, Edward enjoyed sailing his boat on Narragansett Bay and the Warren River. He also enjoyed many sports, long walks on the beach, drawing, and time with his family.

Burial will be private. A celebration of life will take place this summer to honor Edward and his legacy. In lieu of flowers, his family would respectfully request that you do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for someone. He would tell you to expect nothing in return and it is those sentiments that summarize his true character and life-long integrity.
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