Dennis K. Johnsky died suddenly on November 21st, 2022 at the South County Hospital in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. He is survived by his beloved wife Kim (Pacelle), daughter Danika (Christopher) Hodges, brother Joseph and sister Sharon Coluantano, and two grandchildren, Cora & Charles. He is predeceased by his parents, Samuel and Karolias, sister Melanie Finklea, and parents-in-law Richard Pacelle, Sr. and Patricia Pacelle.
Following military service in Vietnam, Dennis attended Central Connecticut State University, where he met his wife, and was a star basketball player. He was a gifted athlete who later went on to play and officiate volleyball. He was an enthusiastic supporter of his daughter, attending all high school swim meets, and of his grandchildren’s activities – swimming, soccer, gymnastics, t-ball – and was thrilled when his grandson expressed interest in learning how to play his favorite sport, basketball.
Dennis overcame adversity in his life, surviving a difficult childhood in the foster care system to later find himself embraced by Kim and her large, loving family. He found joy in spending time with family, relaxing (and boogie boarding!) at the beach, listening to music, cheering on his beloved UCONN Huskies, gardening, amateur beekeeping, and in more recent years in his role as Poppy. Dennis’ gift was conversation, making it easy for him to make friends wherever he went. He was larger than life, in both size and in personality.
Dennis spent the bulk of his working life as a carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, and was excited to start his second act as a real estate agent. He found new purpose in taking first steps to establish a legacy fund to honor Kim’s work in early childhood education, a process his family looks forward to completing in his memory. His most important job in the last several years was as a dedicated caregiver to his wife, whom he worked tirelessly to make laugh and feel loved as often as possible. When not traveling back and forth to Massachusetts to visit her, his daughter and his grandkids, he spent his days nurturing both new and old friendships, and was grateful for the love and support of the beautiful community of friends, family and neighbors he was surrounded by.
A visitation will take place on Saturday, December 10th from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at Avery-Storti Funeral Home at 88 Columbia Street in Wakefield, RI. The family has requested that remembrances be made in the form of contributions to the newly created Kim & Dennis Johnsky Early Childhood Education Legacy Fund, which will provide tuition assistance for children attending the Friends Center for Children in New Haven. Donations can made online at https://friendscenterforchildren.org/give/contribute-on-line/ (select the Kim & Dennis Johnsky Early Childhood Education Legacy Fund), or can be sent to the following address (please indicate Kim & Dennis Johnsky Legacy Fund in memo): Friends Center for Children, 227 East Grand Avenue, New Haven, CT 06513.