Bernard Arthur Heaney, 94, joined his loving wife, Maria, sons Timothy, Shawn, Kerry, his granddaughter Michelle Farruggia and daughter-in-law Laura Heaney Goff, into the loving hands of God on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, at Center for Hope Hospice, in Scotch Plain, N.J. 

Bernard is survived by his devoted daughter Maria T. Heaney O’Callaghan (Bernard). He is also survived by his grandchildren Jamie Heaney Lanier, Kerri Heaney Hurst, Timothy Heaney (Alexis), Sean Heaney (Taylor), Robert Farruggia (Zylona), Shannon Mellas; his great-grandchildren Teresa, Zandy, Weston, Scarlett, Ford, Elsie Mae and Jackson; and many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.

Bernard was born in Greenport, on April 12, 1929, the son of William and Julia (McCaffrey) Heaney. He graduated from Greenport High School in 1948. During this time there he played football on a semi-pro team before being drafted into the Army in 1950. Bernard served on the front lines during the Korean War with the 1st Cavalry as relief on Pork Chop Hill. When he returned home after being honorably discharged, he enrolled in Harper College for Business and accounting using the GI Bill. It was here that he met the love of his life, Maria Mazzocchi. Together they raised four children in Greenport, before retiring to Pine Plains, N.Y. They shared 69 years together. 

Bernie had many jobs in his lifetime. He worked shucking oysters, was a dockworker, a deckhand on fishing boats, and also worked building boats in the local boatyard on Carpenter Street for the war effort before he was drafted. After moving back to Greenport to raise his family he secured a job working on a dredge for Suffolk County for nearly 15 years. He then worked for many years as a mechanical and electrical engineer with Suffolk County Community College until his retirement in 1994. On weekends he worked building docks for nearly 20 years alongside his sons.

His son Kerry and his grandchildren Tim and Sean have carried on the dockbuilding legacy. Bernie was a volunteer fireman with the Village of Greenport Fire Department, where he served as captain and other various offices throughout his years of service for the Relief Hose Company. He became a pyrotechnician for Grucci fireworks, which was a highlight in his life. He also was a fire inspector for the Village of Greenport for a number of years before retiring and moving upstate to Pine Plains.

Bernard and Maria were active in both St. Agnes Parish in Greenport and St. Anthony’s Church in Pine Plains. At St. Agnes he taught catechism classes, served as an usher and reader, was a coach and mentor for Catholic youth groups. He was also a member of the Pine Plains Lions Club.

Bernie was a gifted athlete and an avid sports fan. He took great pride in all his children’s athletic accomplishments, especially his sons’ wrestling. He attended every match and became a wrestling dad to many of the others on the team. He could be heard from the bleachers cheering all the wrestlers on and sometimes challenging the refs’ calls with his famous line, “Come on ref! What are you, blind?!”

Family was important to Bernie, as was his family history. He could often be found telling stories of days gone by to family, friends or even complete strangers. Once you were a friend of Bernie’s, it was for life. His mind was sharp and remained that way until the end, which allowed for his continued socializing and reminiscing. He adored his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren and was happy to spend as much time as possible with them. He also enjoyed playing cards.

In addition to his wife, children, grandchildren and daughter-in-law, Bernard was also predeceased by his siblings; Mary, William, James, Joseph, Bernadette, Julia, John and Jerome. 

Calling hours were held on Feb. 18 at Peck & Peck Funeral Home in Pine Plains, N.Y. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Anthony’s R.C. Church in Pine Plains, with the Rev. William White as the officiant. Interment followed in Evergreen Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to Timothy, Shawn and Kerry Heaney Memorial Scholarship Fund by contacting Annemarie Chouinard at [email protected] or a check can be mailed to Annemarie Chouinard at 532 Whitelysburg Road, Harrington, DE 19952.

This is a paid notice.

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