Gregory Lee Heneghan

Gregory Lee Heneghan

May 25, 1966 - September 27, 2023

Gregory Lee Heneghan

May 25, 1966 - September 27, 2023


Gregory L. Heneghan 1966 – 2023

Family, friends and the community lost an authentic original when Gregory “Henny” Heneghan died on September 27, 2023. A California transplant who lived a life of adventure, Greg was guided in life by the values of hard work, kindness, strength of character, wisdom and bravery. There was no better friend than Henny, he was truly the best of us.

Born in New York in 1966, he was the second of three sons born to Martin and Joan (nee Bard) Heneghan. His parents took one look at him and knew he needed to be at a beach, so the family moved to Laguna Beach, California when he was two years old.

Greg grew up in Southern California living an active outdoor lifestyle, he was a waterman at his core and had a passion for the Polynesian outrigger canoe culture. Greg was active at the Dana Outrigger Canoe Club after high school, and later his daughter Sally and son James both paddled for the same club.

Henny maintained his own private outrigger canoe, and paddled up and down the shores for many years with his close friends. Through the Dana Outrigger Club, he also had friendships with local beach culture legends like Lorrin “Whitey” Harrison, and one of Henny’s prized possessions was the Polynesian straw hat Lorrin handcrafted for him.

Early in life the tall and athletic Henny came to embody two distinct characteristics – strength and determination. Both of these were on display when Greg played football and won the The Pony Bowl in 1985 (with the Saddleback College Gaucho team), and the team was voted U.S. National Junior College Football Champions.

Greg went on to play football for the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mustangs, where he began a tradition of blowing his entire monthly allowance to cook a feast with all the fixings for his friends. This was the beginning of Greg’s lifelong love of cooking, which would culminate with him graduating from the California Culinary Academy (CCA) as a chef.

After completing his training at CCA, Greg moved to Maui, Hawaii to pursue his dream of opening a restaurant. In 1996 his new restaurant venture named Luau’s opened its doors, but it was not destined to last long. What did last long was the love he found on Maui when he met the love of his life Amy Price, formerly from Columbus, Ohio. The two were married in the village of Kahana, where they resided, in 1999. Their very tall children Joseph, Sally and James arrived shortly after.

While on Maui, Henny worked as a cook for some of the largest hotels on the island including the Ritz, Marriott and Westin. He then joined the TS Restaurants family and was Sous Chef at Hula Grill and the Executive Chef at Kimo’s. Outside of work Henny pursued his passion for outrigger canoeing at the Napili Canoe Club, where he was President for several years. Greg thrived in the Hawaiian sun, tall, athletic and in love.

In 2006, Greg and Amy brought their family back to the Laguna Beach area, where he would remain for the rest of his life, working as a talented and versatile chef at The Cheesecake Factory, Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa, and the Monarch Beach Resort.

Friends share memories of Henny’s kindness and devotion. He once borrowed a friend’s car for five hours and returned it with a new stereo and new speakers. He famously mailed many of his friends birthday gifts nearly every year for close to 30 years. In high school, when Henny discovered a friend wanted to run away from home to Mexico, he jumped in the car and brought along a can of beans for sustenance (they returned home days later). Henny was a human juggernaut of thoughtfulness and kindness, and devoted himself to making sure his family and friends were always showered in love and respect.

Greg had a supernatural memory and a passion for telling stories. No subject large or small was off limits, and he could recall intricate details from events going back decades. Friends and family were always impressed by Henny’s uncanny ability to recall in perfect detail every event he had ever witnessed.

In the broadest sense, Henny embodied all of the things we humans aspire to: he was talented yet humble. He was hard working yet tireless. He expected the best from himself, yet accepted others as they came without judging. He gave gifts without a thought of receiving gifts in return. Henny was like the North Star, a guiding light anyone could follow towards becoming a better parent, a better friend and a better person.

Henny was also universally loved, and he made friends easily and often. With deep regret we now say goodbye to Henny, but he’ll live on in the hearts of all who knew him. Authentic originals like Henny are rare, like a precious gem. His friends and family glowed in the brilliant light he shined on us, he inspired us with his strength and bravery, and all of us were so lucky to have him in our lives.

Greg is predeceased by his father Martin Heneghan, and survived by his mother Joan (Bard) Heneghan, his wife Amy (Price) Heneghan, his children Joseph Heneghan, Sally Heneghan and James Heneghan. Brother Joseph Heneghan, his wife Cindy Heneghan, brother Daniel Heneghan, mother-in-law Carmela Price, brother-in-law James Price and sister in law Yee-Ling (Chang) Price. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Greg’s name to the UCI Anti-Cancer Challenge or The Surfrider Foundation.

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