Virginia's Story

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Virginia “Ginny” D. (Hamel) Heffernan, 93, formerly of Bradford, Mass., Rye Beach, N.H., and Jupiter, Fla., died peacefully with her children, Louis and Margie by her side on Friday, November 24, 2017, in the Jupiter Medical Center Pavilion. Ginny’s family is very thankful that Louis and Margie were able to be with her in her final moments. She was the loving wife of the late John “Gopo” J. Heffernan, with whom she shared 62 years of marriage.
Born in Haverhill on March 25, 1924, she was the daughter of the late Louis H. and Dorothy A. (Berry) Hamel. She attended Haverhill Public Schools, Roger’s Hall, and graduated from Georgian Court University in Lakewood, N.J. Ginny was very proud that she completed the first American Red Cross Nurse’s Aide course. She taught at Winter Street School before becoming a devoted stay at home mom to care for her ever growing family!
A devout Catholic, she was a very active member of the Sacred Hearts Parish in Bradford, where she enjoyed contributing her time to many church activities, including teaching CCD for many years, contributing to the food pantry and attending daily mass.
She was a caring person and lovingly known as “Mimi” to her many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and anyone she met.
She had many diverse pastimes including ballroom dancing, tap dancing, making costumes for recitals, health and fitness, Tole painting, boat trips with friends, planting flowers, interior design, and playing tennis.
She is survived by her brother, Gerard Hamel, and her two sisters, Claire Hochschwender and Lynn McCarthy. In addition to her siblings, she is survived by her eight children, Dottie and her husband, Tom Forrestall, Jack and his wife, Mary Jo Heffernan, Ann Buonopane and her companion, Bob Ray, Ted Heffernan, Tippy and her husband, Ron Missick, Jim Heffernan, Lou Heffernan, and Margie and her husband, Jim Noone; 14 grandchildren, Kellie, Tracy, Brian, Scott, Keri, Judy, JJ, Missy, Chris, Kim, Kristin, Matt, Hannah, Jessica; 13 great-grandchildren, Shea, Aubrey, Dylan, Ryan, Trevor, Nora, Molly, Cristian, Collin, Gavin, Jordan, Hamel, and Landis. Ginny also leaves behind her precious dog, Max. She will also be missed by several nieces and nephews and a very large extended family. She was predeceased by her brother, Louis H. Hamel, Jr.; her sisters, Patricia Collins and Gloria Spellman; and her grandson, baby boy Heffernan.
She said her final words with a smile on her face, “Hi Jesus, Hi Jesus! I love my family. Thank you, God.”
Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, November 30, in the Driscoll Funeral Home, 309 South Main Street, Haverhill, from 4 to 8 p.m. Services will begin Friday in the funeral home at 10 a.m. Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Sacred Hearts Church, 165 South Main Street, Bradford, at 11 a.m. Burial in St. James Cemetery, Haverhill. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the Sacred Hearts Parish, School or Food Pantry, 48 South Chestnut St., Bradford, MA 01835. To share a memory, please visit www.driscollcares.com.
Published on  November 28, 2017
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