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Spokane funeral director Chuck Hennessey dies

Tue., Aug. 2, 2011, 9:39 a.m.

Funeral director for more than 50 years

Chuck Hennessey, one of Spokane’s best known funeral directors, died Saturday after a nine-year battle with cancer. He was 80.

“We’ve gotten a couple hundred phone calls. The outpouring of support has been overwhelming,” said Jim Asper, manager of Hennessey Funeral Homes and Crematories.

Hennessey, a third-generation funeral director, averaged more than 300 funerals a year. He was a familiar face at funerals, especially Catholic ones, where fellow Gonzaga University graduates would joke that the next week he might be burying them.

Hennessey’s grandfather started the funeral home business in 1906; Hennessey took over in the mid-1980s from his father.

He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Barbara “Bobbie” Hennessey; children Debra (Ervin) Robisson, Kerry Hennessey and Susan Cooms, all of Spokane; stepdaughters Donna Andreoli, of Dana Point, Calif., and Joy Salame, of Encino, Calif.; eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; sisters Sue (Mike) Nestor, of Spokane, and Rosemary Johnson of Lacey, Wash.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Hennessey’s funeral Mass will take place Monday at 10 a.m. at St. Aloysius Church on the Gonzaga University campus, 330 E. Boone Ave.

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