Daniel J Herlihy Jr., 69, Byfield, Mass., passed away peacefully at the Kaplan Hospice House in Danvers, Mass., on June 17, 2016. Dan was born in Newburyport, Mass., on February 10, 1947, to Daniel J. and Julia (Mullins) Herlihy, natives of Kilgarvan, County Kerry, Ireland. He graduated from Newburyport High School in 1965 and went on to graduate with a B.A. in English from Merrimack College in 1969. Later, he attained his M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision from Lowell State College.
Dan was an English teacher in the Methuen Public School System for 34 years. His specialty was teaching English Literature, with Chaucer being his favorite topic. Dan would engage his students with every method possible to enable them to enjoy their learning experience. His re-enactment of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" pilgrimage, with students bedecked in proper period attire as they traveled throughout the building, was an annual highlight.
On Dan's first day at Merrimack College in September of 1965, he met and fell in love with Mary Parah, whom he married in 1971. As a couple, they have lived life to the fullest. Dan enjoyed researching and planning the extensive traveling they did during their life together. He also loved cooking and entertaining, producing elaborate meals and parties for his friends and family, both here and at his home in West Dennis on Cape Cod. Dan loved to attend auctions, antique shops and yard sales, always in pursuit of a good deal on a desirable antique.
Dan also cherished and embraced his rich Irish Heritage. He and his wife, Mary, traveled numerous times to Ireland, initially to meet and then to enjoy the good times with his many Irish relatives. He was an avid follower of traditional Irish music both here and in Ireland, where Dingle, Kenmare, and West Cork became his favorite places to visit. Following in the tradition of the Irish Shanachie (a skilled teller of tales), Dan could weave a simple incident, using his marvelous sense of humor, timing, dialect and Cheshire Cat-like grin, into a side-splitting, hilarious and most unforgettable narrative.
Over the past 45 years, Dan and Mary were passionate about buying and restoring antique houses. The earliest and most significant house was the 17th-century Chaplin Clark House in Rowley, Mass., and the grandest being their 1810 Federal Period House on Middle Street in Newburyport, Mass. Their most recent project was renovating an early home on 9 Madison St. in Newburyport, Mass., where they had planned to live.
Dan leaves behind Mary, his beloved wife of 45 years; his brother-in-law, Alfred Parah, and wife, Peggy, of Sandown, N.H.; sister-in-law Joan Parah; nieces and nephews, Mary, Kevin, Sean, and James Parah, Renee Duval, and Colleen Desruisseux; his cousin, Patsy Barnes and husband, Terry of Stratham, N.H.; and many cousins in Ireland.
A celebration of Dan's life will take place at 9 Madison Street, Newburyport, MA, on Sunday, June 26, 2016, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Published on June 23, 2016