Ethel (Brennan) Heneghan, 91, passed away peacefully on October 16, 2021 in Stoneham, Massachusetts.
Born in Roscommon, Ireland and raised in the Salthill village of Galway City, Ireland, Ethel was also longtime resident of Springfield, Massachusetts, emigrating to this country after marrying Michael F. Heneghan in 1961. She would later reside in the Magnolia section of Gloucester, Massachusetts, before moving back to her beloved Galway City in 1995, residing on Mill Street, several blocks from the River Corrib, the Spanish Arch, and the Claddagh, and hosted and served as tour guide for family and friends who visited the City of Tribes during those years. She returned to the U.S. in 2008 after the birth of her second granddaughter, and lived in Melrose, Massachusetts for the next 13 years.
Ethel worked as an administrative assistant at various points in her life, including with the Galway County Council, the records department of Mercy Hospital in Springfield, and the School Committee for the City of Gloucester (Massachusetts), as well as with several legal and insurance offices in the Greater Springfield area.
Ethel was more than willing to take on the task of furthering her education to support her family, earning an associate’s degree in Business Administration/Hospitality from of Holyoke (Massachusetts) Community College in 1982, one of the first students with the school's Women in Transition program (and where she notched a better grade than her son in Creative Writing and was not above reminding him). That stint gave Ethel the confidence and curiosity to broaden her world view and become a lifelong learner, which would include participating in a one-year program at Harvard Divinity School's Women Theological Center of Boston, Massachusetts.
At all her various ports of call, Ethel was an active member of various organizations, including a longtime member of the John Boyle O'Reilly Club of Springfield, including the Women’s Auxiliary Club, Springfield Hobby Club, An Taisce, a group dedicated to protecting Ireland's natural and built heritage, Living Scenes, an intergenerational learning progamme at Presentation Secondary School, Galway, the Oughterard (Galway) Golf Club (yes, you read that right), Melrose Unitarian Universalist Church, the Milano Senior Center of Melrose and the Beethoven Society of Melrose.
Ethel, or Etheleen as her brother Sean would call her, leaves her son Sean Heneghan and his wife Wendy Matusovich of Melrose, her daughter Evelyne Heneghan of Ludlow, Mass., her granddaughters Rowan and Shailagh Heneghan, along with many beloved family members from both the extended Brennan and Heneghan families. Ethel was predeceased by her husband and father of her children, Michael F. Heneghan of Springfield and formerly of Kilvolan, Caherlistrane, Ireland, her sisters Maeve Brennan of Galway, Ireland and Eva McCullagh of Dublin, Ireland and brothers Sean Brennan of Redondo Beach, California and Joseph Brennan of Carlow, Ireland.
We must also note that settling in the U.S. was difficult for Ethel but being part of the extended Meenaghan family as well as longtime friends like the Donnellans, Sears, Mulligans and McFarlins, they became her own extended family here in the Massachusetts.
Visitation for Ethel will be held on Saturday, November 6, 2021 from 11 AM to 1 PM at Wilbraham Funeral Home, 2551 Boston Rd., Wilbraham. A brief Prayer Service will be held at 12:00 Noon. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations can be made to the women's shelter in your community. The family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the medical and nursing staff at Life Care Center of Stoneham for their kind care.
To view the Live Streaming funeral service, please click on the link with the video camera under the services information.