John F. "Jack"'s Story

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John Francis "Jack" Danahy, 75, of Atkinson, N.H., returned to his heavenly home on June 16, 2017, after a brief, but valiant battle with cancer. His devotion to his family and his firm belief in God supported him in his struggle and ultimately gave him peace.
Jack was born on February 23, 1942, in Lawrence to the late John and Catherine (Hennessey) Danahy, a firefighter and a teacher, respectively.
He attended Saint John’s Preparatory School and graduated from New England College in 1966 with a degree in education.
He began as a police officer in Hampton, N.H., then as a social worker and an educator. The bulk of Jack’s professional career was spent in the aid of at-risk youth, primarily as a juvenile probation officer with the Lawrence District Court. Jack was also dedicated to the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He provided education to reform and rehabilitate batterers. After his retirement, Jack began a new career in Salem, N.H., first as a truant officer, then as a one-on-one aid in Salem’s schools.
Jack truly believed that sports brought people together. As a young man he was a runner, a football player, and a basketball player. As a lover of the Boston Marathon, Jack volunteered as a Starting Marshall in Hopkinton for 17 years. A ‘Subway Alumni’ of the University of Notre Dame, he made a yearly pilgrimage. Most recently, Jack’s coaching at Salem High School would provide a network of loving friends that brought such comfort to him in his final months.
Jack was blessed with a large and loving family. He married his best friend, Joan Mary Lawless, on June 28, 1969, in Holliston, Mass. They were loving, in love, and fiercely devoted until his last moment. Jack raised his three daughters with patience, humor, and endless love. He was their greatest champion, and fiercest defender.
Jack is survived by his wife, Joan; his daughters, Jacqueline and her husband, Michael Foisy of Kennebunk, Maine, Julie and her husband, Robert Hebeisen of Newburyport, Mass., and Jane and her husband, Kevin Foss of Hampstead, N.H. The delight of Jack’s life was his role as “Bumpa” to his six grandchildren, Benjamin, Brian and William Foisy, Vivian Hebeisen, and Daniel and Edward Foss.
Happiest on the beach, Jack and Joan spent their summers at their cottage in Wells Beach, Maine, where most often, he was in the company of his dear brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Paul and Chryso Lawless and niece, Marie of Holliston, Mass. Jack and Joan followed the sun to many tropical islands, on cruise ships, and as snowbirds in Bradenton, Fla.
Jack was a proud member of All Saints Parish in Haverhill for many years. He was a member of the Lions Club of Atkinson for five years. If you wish to honor the memory of Jack Danahy, consider a donation to any of these organizations that he supported, or that supported him, All Saints Church/Food Pantry, Haverhill, Mass., allsaintshaverhill.org; The Atkinson NH Lions Club, atkinson.nhlions.org; Elder Services of Atkinson, N.H., elderservices@atkinson-nh.gov.
Relatives and friends are invited to call on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Brookside Chapel & Funeral Home, 116 Main St., Plaistow, NH. His funeral will be held on Thursday at 8:45 a.m. from the funeral home with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in All Saints Church, 120 Bellevue Ave., Haverhill. Burial will follow in Atkinson Cemetery. To send a message of condolence to the family or to find directions to the funeral home, please visit www.brooksidechapelfh.com.
Published on  June 18, 2017
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