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Riewerts Memorial Home
Saturday May 8th, 2021
2:00pm - 8:00pm

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Memorial Service

Saturday May 8th, 2021

View Details

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Paul F. Henegan

Paul Francis Henegan

June 9, 1954 to April 20, 2021



Paul Francis Henegan, 66, of Bergenfield, NJ, died of prostate cancer on April 20, 2021, at Holy Name Medical Center Hospice in Teaneck, NJ, with two of his siblings at his side.  He was predeceased by his parents, Paul Joseph and Ann Louise (Selinger) Henegan, and was firstborn of their seven children.


He is survived by his six siblings: Maureen, Stephen, Colleen and her wife Nancy Henry, Daniel, Michael and his wife Allison, and James and his wife Jennifer Hager.  He also leaves behind his life partner Caroll Anglade, his former spouse Toni Kalish, nephews (Bobby, Ian, Matthew and Jeremy), nieces (Patricia, Erin, Lilly and Katie), 38 cousins, a lifetime of musical band mates and colleagues, and many good friends.


Paul was born June 9, 1954, grew up in Rockville Centre, Long Island, NY, and lived for much of his adult life in Miami, FL, as well as NJ.  He attended St. Agnes Cathedral Elementary School, Chaminade High School, and Syracuse University.  Always curious about the world around him and what makes it tick, he had a strong passion for learning and was continually reading and absorbing knowledge. He spoke English, French, German and Creole fluently, knew at least a little bit about everything, especially science and computer science.  He was a gifted photographer, an avid cyclist, and a lifelong practitioner of Tai Chi.


His overriding passion was music.  He started playing saxophone in the 3rd grade when he was old enough to join the St. Agnes school band, and soon was marching, performing and recording with school ensembles, starting a rock and roll band, and composing his own music. In high school, he performed with the Chaminade High School Band, took part in musical theater productions, composed a rock opera, and traveled Europe and the Soviet Union with the All-American Wind Band. He studied at the prestigious Syracuse University School of Music, as its first saxophone major, and was part of the SU Jazz Workshop, playing locally and at jazz festivals.

As an accomplished professional musician, he performed and recorded many forms of music -- from Baroque to modern jazz and every genre and style in between -- on the baritone, tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, as well as alto and bass clarinets, oboe, English horn, bassoon, contra bassoon, tenor, alto and soprano flutes, keyboards, percussion, and guitars.  He was an in-demand recording session musician, arranger, and transcriber.


He made his greatest contribution and gave most of his energy to his work with three different world-renowned Haitian Konpa bands: Tabou Combo, System Band, and Magnum Band. For over 30 years he performed and recorded with them in the Caribbean, Central America, West Africa, France, the US and Canada. 


When his body failed him through chronic migraines, physical injury, and finally prostate cancer, which touched nearly every bone in his body, he suffered much but maintained his dignity, drive, and sense of humor. He was loved, appreciated, and respected by his peers and his audiences alike. His presence, professionalism, wit, keen intellect, compassion, and gifts of expression will be missed by all whose lives he touched.


Visiting will be on May 8, 2021 at Riewerts Memorial Home, 187 South Washington Avenue, Bergenfield, NJ 07621.from 2 pm to 8 pm. Within that time we will schedule time for Eulogies, prayer service, and possible live music. Parts will include Zoom access. 

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Paul Henegan, please visit our flower store.


Only found this obit because I wished Paul Happy Birthday on Facebook as was our usual. I am so sorry for your loss. I knew Paul from SU circa 1974/75. Wanted to relay this story - in '87 I had a German friend visiting, he had saved for the trip and was so excited to see the U.S. Turns out upstate NY is pretty boring. I contacted Paul and he was, 'sure, send him my way!' So instead of a bust, the trip included some time in NYC, going to funky music venues and with a German speaking tour guide to boot. Such a kind offer that made a stranger's trip much more enriched.

Lisa Brandlin Maslyn Jun 10 2021 12:00 AM

My condolences to the Henegan family. I just learned of the passing of Paul. My earliest memory of Paul as the "big brother" as when we were all kids together at Lake Buel in MA. Paul was older that Steve and I and had his own band by then. I remember him trying to teach us kids the words to Merle Haggards "Okie from Muskogee" and he would laugh like crazy every time we messed up the words.

william reeves Jun 1 2021 12:00 AM

we lost a good one in paul i felt he was special as my father pointed out to his own children many times .after a henegan family visit to our home in worcester paul an my father speny time together in our living room after the henegans had left my father talked about his visit with paul and at 5years old he was talking about the chemical makeup of dynamight and his kids had trouble with the sunday comics allan sullivan

Allan Sullivan May 8 2021 12:00 AM

My condolences to the family. Paul was a good friend of my family. He was the one who taught us how to use the computer in the early days . My thoughts and prayers are with you all. May he rest in eternal peace.

Corine Shillingford Judah May 6 2021 12:00 AM

I spent many hours and weeks traveling with Paul playing Haitian Compa music in many locations in the Americas and we NEVER had a shortage of things to talk about. The breadth of his knowledge seemed boundless at times and still, with all of his knowledge, he never seemed bored or disinterested in our conversations although I'm sure he'd had many similar conversations in his lifetime with a young-ish person like myself (at the time lol).
Our conversations could start about music and then meander into history, politics, society and anything under the sun which was awesome for me because he and I shared a lack of fear of broaching subjects that would normally bore other people... ESPECIALLY musicians!
Unfortunately, when I met him his physical decline had already begun. He tried to not show it but I could always tell he was dealing with something...or a few things...but he was a soldier and just kept moving forward as best he could, suffering in silence.
Your soul can finally rest now brother. Love you man.


Carlos Avila May 2 2021 12:00 AM