Healy and his wife, Norminda, had no children, his mother said, but her son had four children from two previous marriages: A son, Jake, 14, and daughter Chelsea, 13, from his first marriage, both live in San Diego, she said. Two daughters, Jasmine, 7, and Sasha, 5, from his second marriage, live in Honolulu.
His ex-wife, Robyn Healy, lives in Honolulu with the couple’s two daughters, Sasha, 5, and Jasmine, 7. Robyn Healy said yesterday both her daughters are doing OK under the circumstances. Sasha is too young to know what happened, but her older sister took the news hard.
“I told Jasmine this morning,” said Robyn Healy, who was married to Dan Healy for almost five years. “She understands. She’s very sad.”
Healy was a devoted father who stayed in touch with his children no matter where he was, she said.
“Jasmine always knew where he was. She would turn on the 6 o’clock news at night to see if she could see her daddy on TV.”
Jake has his father’s competitive spirit and love of sports. His younger sister has their father’s goofy side and propensity to lose things.
They are proud, as any children would be, but mostly because he was serving his country when he died. “I brag about him every day,” Healy’s son, Jake, said yesterday from his mom’s Bonita home. “I always make sure I include his rank when I talk about him.”
Despite the distance, they had their traditions. Healy loved making tamales at Christmas with his children and playing chess with Jake. He always called or wrote, no matter where he was.
“He made every effort to be a part of their lives,” Vianne Centeno said. “He gave them so much.”
When he could, Healy would take his children for pineapple-topped pizza and a game of pool at their favorite pizzeria. He also played basketball and racquetball with them. He most recently visited this past spring, just before he left for Afghanistan.
His last call to them was June 17, Centeno said.
Healy asked Chelsea to send him homemade chocolate chip cookies for his birthday. Then, while talking to Centeno, he got upset upon learning that Chelsea lost her cell phone – again. Centeno reminded him that he had more important things to worry about.
“It was funny that we could have that conversation while he was at war,” Centeno said. “He was so casual.”
Jake and Chelsea said their father didn’t have many rules, but taught them important lessons. “He always wanted us to be good at whatever we did,” Chelsea said. “If not, he wanted us to try.”
The father and son were becoming more like friends in the last few years, Jake said. They would talk several times a week, and Healy would confide in his son about his work.
Jake said that despite the dangers his father faced in Afghanistan, he figured he would return. He and his sister planned to fly to Hawaii to greet him in November.
“I didn’t doubt it at all,” Jake said. “I wasn’t worried.”
Healy had two sisters, Jennifer, 36, of San Diego, and Shannon, 22, of Exeter. He had a half- brother, Sean, 29, of Rutland, Vt., and a half-sister, Carrie, 24, of San Marcos, Texas, from the marriage of Henry “Tom” Healy and his wife, Laurie Healy, who live in Manchester, N.H.