Hensley, Loretta K.

Loretta K. Hensley, age 66, of Wilmington, DE, formerly of Belmar, NJ, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 2, 2024.

Born in Newark, NJ, she was the daughter of the late Dr. Henry and Irene (Zawisha) Kulaga. Growing up, she spent her time in Mountainside, NJ; Belmar, NJ; and Hollywood, FL. She developed a love of music, playing the tuba and piano. She earned her degree in music from Montclair State and her master’s in education from Georgian Court.

While playing the tuba, she met the love of her life, Richard. Their 44 years of marriage was a shining example of love, faith, service to others, loyalty, friendship, and a little bit of selective hearing.

After marrying, Loretta spent several years as a stay-at-home mom to her three children. In 1989, she decided to share her love of music as the music teacher for St. Dominic School in Brick, NJ. Over the years, she added many hats, becoming the organist for St. Dominic Church and director of the children’s and adult choirs. She launched a bell choir and show choir and served as the musical director for the drama club.

The school music performances during her tenure were always spectacular, with Mrs. Hensley dancing along with the children doing the hand jive, box step, and other classic Mrs. Hensley moves. As the church organist, she played more Masses, weddings, and funerals than you could count, always willing to find and learn special music on request. She loved and appreciated her cantors over the years, in part so she did not have to sing during the Mass herself.

Loretta retired in 2019 and moved to Delaware to be closer to her grandchildren. Being Grandma was, by far, her favorite thing in the world. She spoiled her grandchildren and would do anything for them. Sleepovers at Grandma and Grandpa’s house meant staying up late, eating popcorn while watching movies, and having Dunkin Donuts in the morning. She sewed or crocheted treats for her grandchildren’s classes for the holidays. She loved introducing her grandchildren to music, whether it was a child-sized full drum kit, trumpets, violins, Boomwhackers, hand bells, keyboards, or even a tuba just the right size for a little boy.

In addition to her husband Richard, she is survived by her children, Henry (Tasha), Laura (John), and Jack (Loren); her five grandchildren, Charlotte and Audrey Hensley; Erin, Mary Ann Margaret, and Rory O’Meara; her sister, Dr. Henrietta Kulaga; special cousin Janet Muchnicki; and many friends.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, January 8, 2024, at 11 a.m. at St. Dominic Church, 250 Old Squan Rd, Brick, NJ 08724. A visitation will precede the Mass at 9 a.m. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Cecilia Foundation https://www.ceceliafoundation.org/donate.

For online condolences visit: www.mccreryandharra.com

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