Mary Hennessey Charles House Party in Heaven

First post: Aug 25, 2018 Latest post: Apr 10, 2020

“Rest now, mom, we got it from here.”

In the early morning of March 19th, our mom passed away in a peaceful and painless sleep. She received her last rights from Father Chris from Holy Name of Mary. We had her in our family room; a place Rob, Mike, and I were able to be around her. She heard the joy we felt being with each other, sharing stories, jokes, and observing moments of reverence as she spent her last hours on this earth. We were joined by their loving wives, Jess and Natalie. We sang to her, prayed for her, held her and told her, in our own ways, that the work of her life is going to live on. Through us and through the thousands of lives she touched. We sat down at our dining table, within ear shot of her bed, to partake in the Irish American tradition of Corned Beef and Cabbage. We all believe her hearing us gathered together, laughing and expressing love for each other, set her soul at ease. Later that night we played church hymns, John Denver (specifically my parents’ song “Sunshine on my Shoulder”), and The Parting Glass- an Irish folk song that a dear friend requested we play for her during her passing. After everyone was gone, I sat by her side holding her hand. In her last hour, I prayed for her, held her, and asked God to let her memory live on in the acts of all of us who loved her so much. Then I said to my dad and her sister Carolyn: get the scotch, carrot cake, and playing cards ready; Mom is about to arrive for her heavenly party at Jesus’ beach house. 


She is with God, for whom she lived her life, and I couldn’t be happier for her. 


Thank You A Million Times Over

Before I move on to the service information, I want to apologize to those who were not reached by anyone. Please forgive the delay, and I hope you can understand why it took me a while to post this. More than anything, I would like to humbly and graciously thank you all for your support in thoughts, prayers, vibes, cards, and visiting these last couple of years. It didn’t just help my mom. It helped me. It helped my family. And we are so grateful we had a mom who garnered so much love and so many friendships with amazing people from all walks of life. I hope you will be there for our eventual celebration down the road. 


Celebration of Mary Sunshine

Services will not be until it is safe for us to gather. This means months. I ask, in this time, for you to pray for her (and us), and send me your favorite stories or memories of her. I don’t care if it is two words or 2,000. If you could set some time aside in the next couple of months to do that, it will help me create something for all of us. Her whole community. Email me: ( and use the subject line “My memory of Mary”


*If you wanted to make a small donation in her honor, or volunteer for a cause, please consider some of the places and causes she held close to her heart:


       Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church in San Dimas, CA

       Habitat for Humanity

       Childfund International

       St. Lucy’s Priory High School in Glendora, CA

       Veterans of Foreign Wars


       St. Vincent DePaul

       Vote Save America

       And if she were here, she would also say the Coronavirus Relief Fund


Just One More Thing…

Please take care of each other. Be there (virtually) for all you love during this tragic and horrific time. We were able to say goodbye and hold my mom till she died. There are thousands who have had to say their last goodbyes to their moms, dads, adult children, aunts, uncles- all over a walkie talkie, or facetime if they’re lucky. There are thousands of Healthcare/Hospital workers who cannot touch their children or partner for weeks & months to keep all of us safe. Therefore, I am grateful for our blessed timing, but we must all continue to love and save each other, as my mom would, by following what the scientists and doctors are saying. Stay home, and if you need any help with resources or understanding how to access governmental programs created for C19, reach out & I will point you in the direction of people who can help regarding information on the relief pay, healthcare, and much more. Take care of each other, please. 


With Love, Hope, and Immense Gratitude


      Maggie, Mike, and Rob

From before:

Mary’s Journey.
Our mom, as anyone who knows her knows, has always been about service to people and the Lord. She went from practicing “first communion” with her younger sister Carolyn and Necco wafers, to serving Christ and community as a nun for 7 years. She became a teacher once she was no longer in the convent. She never stopped serving the people of the congregations of which she became a godsend for so many. She, with other women of faith, gave retreats for women. They reached a lot of souls that way. Mine included. She was the ultimate wife for my dad. She served him from the moment they met, and went on to be his main caregiver for over 10 years. I can’t think of a time in her life when what she did wasnt in some way in service of people, and a conduit of God’s love. Think of how much she means to all of you, the impact she has had in your life. And pray for her. And please pray for our family. It is really hard for us to watch our brilliant mother fighting to get better to only run into more than her fair share of hurdles.

Our mom has had a rough couple of years. After the passing of my father, she retired at the end of that school year. 3 months after retiring, she had a stroke. The stroke left her with hemi-paralysis (her right arm is almost completely unresponsive,
but her leg does move a little). Her speech was also affected. She was at a skilled nursing facility for a couple months after she was discharged from hospital. That was Claremont Manor. From there she went to casa Colina (a very great rehab place). Despite therapy and exercises, she never got much better than 3 to 5 word sentences. Mostly it was just 1 or 2 basic words at a time. She could only stand with help from others to keep her up.
She could understand everything, but verbalizing it was a struggle.

Since the stroke in August of ‘18, she has been to the hospital at least 6 times. It is usually for severe uti’s. One was from a fall. That led to a broken femur. We were able to get it fixed, and they sent her to another skilled nursing facility called Pilgrim’s Place. She recovered. Over the last two years, though, diseases keep knocking her down so much that her progress halted- especially when she was getting utis so much the last 6 months. It seems to have lessened her strength and cognition a tiny bit each time. Please pray pray pray she can recover enough to enjoy her grandkids as much as possible.