John J. Healy, 89, contractor

John J. Healy Sr.
John J. Healy Sr.
Posted: August 29, 2014

John J. Healy Sr., 89, of Havertown, a contractor in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware, died Sunday, Aug. 24, of lymphoma at his home.

Born in Philadelphia, "Jack" Healy spent most of his life in the Merwood Park section of Havertown, where he attended St. Denis School. He graduated from West Catholic High School in 1943 and then enlisted in the Navy on July 9. He served as a medical corpsman during World War II.

While on Guam, he treated several survivors of the Indianapolis, a ship torpedoed by the Japanese in the South Pacific in July 1945 after dropping off parts for the atomic bomb. Of the 1,197 crewmen aboard, 300 went down with the ship; others spent five days afloat, fighting off sharks, dehydration, starvation, exposure, and delirium. Only 317 of those who went into the water survived."He never mentioned it until the Discovery Channel did a program on it," said his son, William. "But he didn't elaborate."

Mr. Healy was honorably discharged from the Navy on April 3, 1946. He was reactivated during the Korean War.

From 1957 until 1974, Mr. Healy was owner and president of William J. Donovan Co., which he inherited from his maternal grandfather. The company owned buildings, managed construction, and performed mechanical contracting work.

Later, he worked as a construction project manager for Christiana Care Health System in Delaware until retiring in 1996.

He was a past president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Pennsylvania, and a trustee of the health, welfare and pension funds for Steamfitters Local Union 420. He was appointed by Mayor Frank L. Rizzo to the Board of Building Standards of the City of Philadelphia.

For the last 71 years, Mr. Healy served as a volunteer with the Oakmont Fire Company, including as fire chief from 1966 until 1974. At the time of his death, he was on the company's board of directors.

"He loved his family. He loved his neighborhood, and he loved that fire company," his son said.

He also was a founding member and past president of the Merwood Park Civic Association.

An avid golfer, Mr. Healy enjoyed many years on the links as a member of Llanerch Country Club.

He was married to Mary O'Connor Healy, who died in 2000.

Surviving, besides his son, are sons John Jr., Francis, and James; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A 9:30 a.m. viewing Thursday, Aug. 28, at Stretch Funeral Services Inc., 236 E. Eagle Rd., Havertown, will be followed by an 11 a.m. Funeral Mass at St. Denis Church, 2401 St. Denis Lane, Havertown. Interment is in St. Denis Cemetery.


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