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August 19, 1942 ~ October 12, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
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Dorothy (Dot) Hencz was born and raised in South River, NJ. She graduated from South River High School and went on to earn her X-ray technician certification at St. Peter’s Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. In the early 1970’s, Dot ran the X-ray department at the Monmouth County Tuberculosis Clinic, where she met her lifelong friend, Virginia (Ginny) Purcell, the head nurse at the clinic, who also rented out rooms in her home in Manasquan, NJ. Dot moved in with the Purcell family, Ginny and her sons, Richard and Michael, and soon became part of the family. Dot and Ginny worked at the TB Clinic until 1989 when they retired from their jobs and adventured to Onancock, Virginia on the Eastern Shore, where they bought a restaurant and general store, E.L. Willis & Company in Willis Wharf, VA. Little did they know their dream restaurant would become wildly popular, gaining impressive reviews from the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun. After seven years of long hours and hard work, Dot & Ginny hung up their aprons and put away the sauté pans to hit the road. They travelled the country in a camper van, traversing the U.S.A. from South to North and East to West.
Soon after Ginny passed away in late 2014, Dot was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. In 2018, she moved into Commonwealth Senior Living (CSL) in her hometown of Onancock. The amazing staff and inspirational leaders at CSL provided outstanding care for Dot for her last five years, as this devastating disease progressed. Dot passed away peacefully at CSL on October 12, 2023. She was predeceased by her parents, Joseph and Olga Hencz, and her brother Wayne Hencz of Duluth, MN. She is survived by her sister-in-law Kathy Hencz and her son Casey Hencz, and by her adopted Purcell family Michael, with his wife Lois and two daughters Samantha and Erin, and Richard with his wife Maryellen and their children, Helene, Caitlin, Richie, and Jimmy (Dot’s Godson).
A memorial service was held at the Reilly Bonner Funeral Home, 801 D Street, Belmar, NJ 07719, Saturday, November 4, 2023.
In remembrance of Dot’s love of life and joy of laughter, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to The Hermitage Fund of Commonwealth Senior Living, whose generosity enabled Dot to remain at CSL in her final months. Make checks payable to Hermitage Fund, c/o CSL Eastern Shore, 23610 North Street, Onancock, VA 23417.
Arrangements by the Reilly Bonner Funeral Home (www.reillybonnerfuneralhome.com) and the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home (www.williamsfuneralhomes.com).