By Walter F. Naedele Philadelphia Inquirer
Richard W. Ennis, 66, who retired in January 2004 after a Philadelphia career with Bell Atlantic and Verizon, died of lung cancer Monday, Feb. 10, at his home in Atco.
“One of his major jobs was after 9/11,” son-in-law Mark Dooling said in a phone interview.
As a phone repairman, Mr. Ennis “did everything from first response” work in New York City to helping at Verizon’s command center there, Dooling said.
While being driven from one location to another in New York with other Philadelphia-area Verizon staffers, “he had overheard one of the New York Verizon managers saying: ‘Where do these guys work? We want them on my job sites.’”
“Because they were doing such a good job,” Dooling said. “He was proud of it.”
Mr. Ennis told his family that “it really was awesome to overhear. He was genuinely giving them a compliment,” without knowing they were listening, Dooling said.
Born in Germantown, Mr. Ennis graduated in 1965 from Cardinal Dougherty High School “among the top of his class,” Dooling said.
He saw combat as an infantryman in Vietnam and was discharged as a sergeant in 1969.
Mr. Ennis began with Bell Atlantic in 1973 as a serviceman, then “went into management and then back to service.”
By the time he retired, he was “on pay phones all over the city, repairing, installing.”
Mr. Ennis and his family moved to Atco when he retired, after living for decades in Frankford.
He became a member of the International Bowling Museum, now in Arlington, Texas, after he bowled 300 in a Thursday night league at bowling lanes on Roosevelt Boulevard in 2004, Dooling said.
Mr. Ennis is survived by his wife of 42 years, Veronica, daughters Rachel and Renee Ennis and Raina Maahs, a brother, two sisters, and four grandchildren.
Life celebrations were set from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, and from 8 to 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 17, both at the John F. Givnish funeral home, 10975 Academy Rd., before a 9:30 a.m. Funeral Mass at the Church of St. Anselm, 12670 Dunks Ferry Rd., Philadelphia 19154.