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Joe Hennessy, Longtime CB6 Chair, Passes Away From Covid-19

Joe Hennessy (Image provided by Hennessy family)

April 14, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Joe Hennessy, a Forest Hills resident and long-time Community Board 6 Chair, died from COVID-19 complications Thursday. He was 82.

Hennessy chaired CB6 – which represents the areas of Forest Hills and Rego Park – up until September 2019. He was chair for about 30 years.

He was president of the board of directors for the Forest Hills MHA Housing Development Fund for over 30 years and was also a board member of Queens Community House, a nonprofit social services organization.

Frank Gulluscio, the district manager for CB6, said that Hennessy ran the board with diligence and honor. He said that his passing is a tremendous loss to the community.

“Joe was recognized not just citywide but throughout the state for his involvement in the community,” he said.

Hennessy, who immigrated to the United States from Ireland, served in the U.S. Army in the 1950s and was stationed in Germany in 1957. He then spent 50 years working for Team Systems Corp., which was one of the largest yellow taxi fleet companies in the city, working his way up to become general manager.

“Joe’s story was a real American dream story,” Gulluscio said.

“He went out of his way to help immigrants and the taxi industry was one of those industries where new immigrants would go to to find work, he would always have their back,” Gulluscio said.

“He was an all-round good guy, always willing to help out and I learned a lot from him,” he said.

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi took to social media to pay tribute to Hennessy’s public service and said it was an honor to work with him.

“He was a true friend, gracious leader, and his impact throughout our community is second to none,” he said.

Congresswoman Grace Meng shared a photo of herself and Hennesy on Twitter and expressed her sadness at his passing.

“He was wonderful community leader who served with distinction. His contributions over many decades of service will not be forgotten,” she wrote.

In March, the Queens borough president’s office recognized Hennessy’s lifelong dedication to serving the neighborhood and issued him with a proclamation.

“Joseph Hennessy has dedicated decades to strengthening Forest Hills and RegoPark,” the borough president tweeted at the time.

Hennessy is survived by his wife Catherine, who he was married to for 57 years. They have three daughters; Patricia Hennessy, Karen Hennessy-Bernsley and Sheila Thomas, and eight grandchildren.

He will be laid to rest at Calverton National Cemetery in Long Island on Thursday, his family said.

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