The Honorable Senator James W. "Jimmy" Hennigan, Jr.
The Honorable Senator James W. “Jimmy” Hennigan Jr.
Of Jamaica Plain, January 3, 2020 age 92. Beloved husband of the late Marjorie A. (Murphy) Hennigan. Loving father of Suffolk County Clerk Magistrate and Former Boston City Councillor Maura Hennigan of Jamaica Plain, Deirdre Donovan of New York City, James W. Hennigan III and his wife Jude of West Roxbury, Helen Hennigan of Roslindale, Kate Hennigan of Chalfont PA, John Hennigan of Syracuse NY, Marjorie Alutto and her husband Charlie of Lake Forest IL. Son of the late Senator James W. Hennigan Sr. and Katherine (Oliver) Hennigan. Brother of Mary (Hennigan) Hickey, the late Helen (Hennigan) Gallagher and the late Oliver W. Hennigan. Grandfather of Liam Donovan. Regan, Taryn, Maeve and James Hennigan. Casey Tobin and Jamie Hennigan. Sean and Jennifer Hennigan. Julian, Alex, Nicholas and Patrick Alutto.
A proud veteran, Jimmy served his country during World War II and the Korean War as a member of the United States Coast Guard.
The quintessential, larger-than-life Irish Bostonian, born on St Patrick’s Day, Jimmy would often be seen walking about the streets of Boston saying hello to all those he would meet.
A public servant to his very core, Jimmy’s absolute passion was following his family’s heritage of serving the community through politics. He would often say we all have the privilege to act through public service. He exercised this privilege with fervor throughout his life, holding many positions in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Boston. Massachusetts State Representative (1953-1954), Massachusetts State Senator (1955-1964), Boston School Committee Member (1970-1974) and Suffolk County Register of Probate (1973-1977).
He would also work tirelessly for those whom he supported in the political arena. He was a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1960 supporting John F. Kennedy for President. In 1976 , he was an early supporter of Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign. He led the effort promoting Carter’s campaign in Massachusetts. He and his family also traveled throughout the country assisting Carter with his Presidential victory. On the campaign trail, Jimmy was a force to be reckoned with.
Jimmy also had amazing pride for his family, raising seven children with the love of his life, Margie, whom he met and romanced over scoops of coffee ice cream when she worked at Brigham’s in Jamaica Plain. His love for Margie and for coffee ice cream were everlasting. When he took time away from his political endeavors, he loved to spend time with his family and friends skiing at the mountains of New Hampshire. He raced down the Mt Cranmore Nastar race course, enthusiastically cheered on by his family, who proclaimed him “old 88”. He also was the life of the party at his own surprise birthday celebration at the summit of the mountain.
With his passing, the Boston community will lose a bit of the authentic history of old-fashioned Boston and Massachusetts politics, but as Jimmy joyfully proclaimed, when he was invited to speak on the Senate floor at the Massachusetts State House 10 years ago, “Once a Senator, always a Senator.” Rest in Peace, Big Jim.
Funeral from the William J. Gormley Funeral Home, 2055 Centre Street, WEST ROXBURY on Wednesday, January 8, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in Holy Name Church at 10 o’clock. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Interment St. Joseph Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations in Jim’s memory may be made to The James W. Hennigan Elementary School 200 Heath Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. For directions and guestbook, please visit: gormleyfuneral.com