Obituary: Joseph F. McEnness (1929-2024)

Joseph F. McEnness, 94 of Newport, RI passed away Saturday, February 10, 2024 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Beloved husband, father and grandfather, Joe was born in Skaneateles, NY in 1929 to Joseph A. McEnness and Agnes O’Connor. He is survived by his children, Pamela McEnness Giannini and Joseph F. McEnness Jr., grandchildren Kyera Giannini (Brandon), Nicole Giannini (Adam), Joseph McEnness III (Joelle) and Colleen McEnness, great-grandchildren Isabel McEnness and Luke McEnness. He is also survived by his sister, Ellendea Proffer Teasley (Ross) of Washington, D.C. He was predeceased by his wife of 65 years, Lorraine E. McEnness and his sisters, Elizabeth Raffa, Moira Duelfer and Dr. Sheila Morehouse.

A marine engineer, Joe spent nearly 50 years at sea, retiring as the Commodore Chief Engineer for Texaco Marine. An avid reader, during his retirement years he could often be found engrossed in his latest read while visiting Hibernian Hall or the Newport Yacht Club. When not reading, he enjoyed sharing the stories of his seagoing life with his friends at the clubs.

In addition to the Newport Yacht Club and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, he was a long-time member and supporter of the Redwood Library, Friends of the Newport Public Library, the Elks Club, the Newport Art Association and Museum, the Naval War College Foundation, the Seaman’s Church Institute, IYRS, Hazard’s Beach and a founding board member of the Museum of Newport Irish History. He was an active supporter and life member of the Navy League, serving in 2002-3 as co-chair of the Commissioning Committee for the guided missile destroyer USS Chafee.

The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the staff of Garden’s Court Nursing and Hospice staff in Palm Beach Gardens for their wonderful skill and extraordinary care for Joe in his final months, in particular, Emma and Lorna. In addition, we extend our thanks and deep appreciation for John Stephens, Joe’s personal assistant, aide, and good friend for the last six years.

Joe will be laid to rest alongside of his wife, Lorraine, at St. Columba Cemetery, Middletown, RI. Burial services will be private; however, the family will be holding a Memorial Mass this summer; information will be provided once the date has been established.

Donations in Joe’s memory may be made to the Museum of Newport Irish History, P.O. Box 1378, Newport, RI 02840,




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