John D. Healey

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John D. Healey

October 08, 1943 - February 26, 2019

John D. Healey Naples, FL - Honorable John Dennis (Denny) (Papa) Healey, died in Naples, Fla. of complications due to Parkinson's Disease on Tuesday, February 26.

He was a gentleman, in the true sense of the word, a gentle man. A man dispositionally well suited to his career. A faith-filled loving husband to his heart broken wife and soulmate of 51 years, Donna (Ventresca). A caring father to his devoted children and their families Pamela, Maria and Merry of Swampscott and Brian, Kathy, Ben and Nick of Peabody. Alison greeted him at heaven's gate along with his Mom and Dad, Helvi and Jack. His steadfast brothers Bob and Rick and their wives Chris and Mary and families of Connecticut bear this heavy grief with his extended family and friends.

A life-long Peabody resident, he was a graduate of: Thomas Carroll Elementary School in 1958 where he was known as John, Peabody Veterans Memorial High School in 1961, University of Massachusetts at Amherst in1965, and Suffolk University Law School in 1970 where at all three he was known as Denny. All of his education helped to prepare him for a rich life of public service.

This service began in Salem as the Executive Director of the North Shore ARC, then known as the Association for Retarded Children. That was followed by his position as an Aide to Congressman Michael Harrington, Salem Office. During his time in private law practice at Ronan, Segal and Harrington of Salem, he was appointed by Mayor Peter Torigian as Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Peabody. He served on many boards. One near and dear to him was the Regional Council for Mental Health. He was appointed to the Bench at Peabody District Court in 1985 by Governor Michael Dukakis and served as a Justice in Essex County for 22 years. He retired from the Bench in 2006 while serving in the Salem District Court. Appreciative of his retirement years, they were joyfully spent in Naples at Foxfire where his love of warmth and golf was enhanced by the camaraderie of good friends. During all of that time and up until now he was known mostly as Dennis with an occasional Denny or John thrown in always telling us from what point in his life that person knew him.

His grandchildren, who called him Papa, brought him immense joy. And, his relationships throughout his lifetime sustained him. Thank you for being a part of his life. Keep his spirit with you by whatever name you called him and wish him "fairways and greens." He was one of the "good guys."

The family thanks the competent, compassionate, staff at the Avow Frances Georgeson Hospice House in Naples, FL for their loving, gentle care that eased his way.

Funeral services were private. Please join a grateful family for a Celebration of His Life on Saturday, March 16 at The Hawthorne Hotel in Salem from 12 to 4 p.m. For online condolences and guest book go to
Published on March 12, 2019
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10 posts

Kevin Cochrane
Mar 15, 2019
Denny and I were “pals”, growing up as kids together on Newcastle Road in Peabody and many fond memories of that perhaps “simpler” time remain—-street punch ball with Denny and Bobby, Mr. Healey’s funny stories.
Recalling the time of someone who has passed and who has lived a rewarding, full life will often bring a smile to the person remembering. When I think of Denny, I smile easily, as I know many others do.
My deepest sympathy to Donna, Bobby, Rick and the entire Healey family.
Renee Holloran-Brewer
Mar 14, 2019
Dear Donna, may deepest sympathy to you and all who loved Judge Healey. It was just the other day I was talking to someone about my days at DSS and going to court. I was saying how your husband was always my favorite judge.
May beautiful memories comfort you in the days ahead. Always, Renee
Brian Cassidy
Mar 13, 2019
Donna, so sorry for your loss.
Effie xerras
Mar 12, 2019
My deepest sympathy to his wife Donna and his lovely family. He was such a lovely gentlemen. May he Rest In Peace
Barry Sullivan
Mar 12, 2019
Condolences to Donna and the entire Healey family. Dennis was a gentleman and good human being in the truest sense. It was a privilege to have known him and his entire family. Peace.
Toni and Sandy Porter
Mar 12, 2019
We will always remember your kindness and the true gentleman that you are. You will remain in our hearts forever. Also your fine rendition of 'Country Road Take Me Home' on karaoke night at Foxfire.
Our sincere sympathy to the entire Healey family.
Elizabeth Luz Clow
Mar 12, 2019
Our neighborhood knew him as one of the nicest.,( Gardner Park.) A life lived well.
Sharleen Gardner Carlsen
Mar 12, 2019
My deepest condolences to the Healy family. I have known Denny for about 60 years and respected him for every one of those years growing up.
Hon. Robert Cornetta (ret.)
Mar 12, 2019
Donna & Family:

The passing of Judge Healey is a great loss to each of you, and to all of us who knew and respected his compassion, integrity and gentle spirit. May his life’s work and beliefs serve to light the path of kindness and dignity for all.
Bill Niland
Mar 12, 2019
To the class of 1961 at Peabody High he was known as Denny, and President. He made us look good with his meteoric rise to Judge. We see here he lived a premium quality life. Our condolence to those who loved him. Bill Niland