"Because they were doing such a good job," Dooling said. "He was proud of it."
Mr. Ennis told his family that "it really was awesome to overhear. He was genuinely giving them a compliment," without knowing they were listening, Dooling said.
Born in Germantown, Mr. Ennis graduated in 1965 from Cardinal Dougherty High School "among the top of his class," Dooling said.
He saw combat as an infantryman in Vietnam and was discharged as a sergeant in 1969.
Mr. Ennis began with Bell Atlantic in 1973 as a serviceman, then "went into management and then back to service."
By the time he retired, he was "on pay phones all over the city, repairing, installing."
Mr. Ennis and his family moved to Atco when he retired, after living for decades in Frankford.
He became a member of the International Bowling Museum, now in Arlington, Texas, after he bowled 300 in a Thursday night league at bowling lanes on Roosevelt Boulevard in 2004, Dooling said.
Mr. Ennis is survived by his wife of 42 years, Veronica, daughters Rachel and Renee Ennis and Raina Maahs, a brother, two sisters, and four grandchildren.
Life celebrations were set from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, and from 8 to 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 17, both at the John F. Givnish funeral home, 10975 Academy Rd., before a 9:30 a.m. Funeral Mass at the Church of St. Anselm, 12670 Dunks Ferry Rd., Philadelphia 19154.
Donations may be sent to Fox Chase Cancer Research Center at www.cancercenter.com.
Condolences may be offered to the family at www.lifecelebration.com.