CONGRESSMAN LAWRENCE J. DeNARDIS Lawrence Joseph DeNardis, age 80, of Hamden, CT, passed away peacefully on August 24th at Yale-New Haven Hospital surrounded by his family. Dr. DeNardis was born in New Haven, CT on March 18, 1938, the son of the late Lawrence and Elena (Battaglia) DeNardis. He graduated from Hamden High School in 1956 where he met Mary Louise White, his beloved wife and life partner of 57 years. He received his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross in 1960 and went on to earn a Master's degree in 1964 and his Ph.D. in Government in 1989, both from New York University. He was a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1960-1963. Dr. DeNardis' distinguished career spans both government and higher education. His academic career began at Albertus Magnus College, where he was an associate professor and department chairman from 1964-1979. He was President of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges from 1979-1980. He later became the fifth president of the University of New Haven, where he served from 1991-2004. He served as the youngest delegate to the Connecticut State Constitutional Convention in 1965. He served in the Connecticut State Senate from 1970-1979. As a state senator he pioneered groundbreaking legislation, including sponsoring Connecticut's first school funding formula to equalize funding between school districts, and was a delegate at the Connecticut State Republican conventions from 1966-1982, where he served as chairman in 1982 and as a delegate in 1976 at the Republican National Convention. Dr. DeNardis was elected to the Ninety-seventh Congress (1981-1983) serving the Third Congressional District of Connecticut in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was a Visiting Professor of Government at Connecticut College from 1983-1984, Acting Assistant Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services from 1985-1987, and was appointed by President George Bush to serve as a member of the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine. He was Guest Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington D.C in 1987. Dr. DeNardis also served as chairman of the Tweed New Haven Regional Airport Authority. He became the fifth president of the University of New Haven in 1991, where he served until 2004. Under his leadership, he transformed the university from a commuter college to become a top tier residential university in the northeast. As president emeritus, Dr. DeNardis returned to the UNH faculty to teach national security policy in the university's Washington D.C. program. He was an official election observer for the national parliamentary and presidential elections in Ukraine and Tanzania in 2005 and co-chaired delegations from both the Association of Former Members of Congress and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. He also led a delegation of former members of Congress to meet with the new president of Chile in 2006. Dr. DeNardis was a devout Catholic and a parishioner at our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Hamden. He was a Knight of Malta and most recently served on the Pastoral Council for the Archdiocese of Hartford. Most recently, he served as a member of the Connecticut State Board of Regents for Higher Education and Chairman of the Connecticut Humanities Council. In 2017, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of Liverpool John Moores University for creating transatlantic academic opportunities through a partnership with Southern CT State University. Larry is survived by his wife, Mary Lou (White) DeNardis; his daughter Dr. Lesley DeNardis & her husband Dr. A.E. Rodriguez of Hamden, CT; his sons, Larry J. DeNardis Jr. of Deep River, CT, Mark DeNardis & his wife Wendy of North Haven, CT and Gregory DeNardis & his wife Cherise of Ocala, FL and his grandchildren, Matthew, Grace, Claire, Jameson and Triniti DeNardis. Friends may visit with his family on Monday, August 27 from 4:00 to 8:00 pm at Beecher & Bennett Funeral Home, 2300 Whitney Avenue, Hamden. and may attend his Mass of Christian Burial that will be celebrated on Tuesday, August 28 at 12:00 pm directly at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Hamden. Burial with Military Honors will follow in All Saints Cemetery, North Haven. In lieu of flowers, charitable memorial contributions may be made to: The DeNardis Family Scholarship, University of New Haven, Office of Development, 300 Boston Post Road, West Haven, Connecticut 06516.

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  1. Our deepest condolences on the passing of Larry Denardis. It was an honor and blessing to have known such a great and gentle person. In sympathy, Alexander, Sanya, and Julian Schuster

  2. With deepest condolences and utmost appreciation for the life and many contributions of Dr. Larry DeNardis. In sympathy, Kelly and Mario Gaboury

  3. I will miss you very much, Larry. You were always and in all ways my friend. I’ll remember our days at Albertus Magnus College…you, my Poli. Sci. Prof and me, your student. Then you venturing into the world of state politics and your students getting first hand knowledge just how tough politics can be. Then, onward to Washington and the Senate. You were wonderful. Truly an honest and caring politician. You became President of the UNH…..UNH was fortunate to have you as Pres. I remember the parties I had at my home in No. Haven. You were always there. Those were the days, my friend…I thought they’d never end!! Larry, Everything you touched became Gold. You had that gift and all who knew you were the recipients of your gift! I am so sorry that you have left us….but only physically…you will be forever in our minds and hearts! God bless all your family who will miss you terribly!

  4. Dear Marylou and family,
    Deepest condolences to you all on the death of Larry. He achieved so much on so many levels but never lost touch with his roots. A man of genuine integrity and caring. We have fond rememberances of your family.
    Blessings and prayers,
    (Dcn.) Dick and Angela Santello
    St. Petersburg, FL

  5. Dr DeNardis was a wonderful man to work with. Working with him at The University of New Haven you saw daily how much he cared about the students, faculty, and staff. He will be missed May he Rest in Eternal Peace. Taritha L. Middleton

  6. I am deeply saddened by the passing of Larry. Mary Lou my heart goes out to you and your family during this difficult time. I have known Larry my entire life because he was good friends with both my parents. He was a kind man who achieved greatness. I pray God provides you and your family with comfort and peace. God Bless you and your family.
    With great sadness and the best regards,
    Kathleen D. Mastroianni

  7. Larry was (how strange to use the past tense for such a vibrant man) a humanist and an academic in the best sense. I knew him when I was a faculty member during his entire tenure as president of the University of New Haven, and thereafter. He lived his values, which were liberal and compassionate. He carried on his work as a champion of democracy in his work beyond politics and on the global stage. He was always a friend to me. I will miss him. My condolences to his family.

  8. Larry was a good man and friend. Our condolences, prayers and well wishes are extended to Larry’s family. God rest his soul.
    Love, Al and Karen Nicholson

  9. My condolences to the Denardis family…Larry was an old friend from, yes, junior high school back in my New Haven days…Travel well, Larry…

  10. Our heartfelt condolences upon the loss of a wonderful person who made a huge difference in the world. Larry was totally committed to community, family and friends and he will be truly missed by all.
    Milt and Joan Wallack

  11. RIP a true believer an supporter of all U of New Haven sports players and coaches and a truly nice person.

  12. The life of President DeNardis was marked by service to his country, his family, his community and to the University of New Haven. He brought an academics’ vision to his leadership at UNH and worked to bring people in. He encouraged discussion and debate and welcomed a wide variety of opinions. His model will be missed. Steve Raucher

  13. We at the Amity Club of NH will miss our Brother Larry. He shared his light with us for many years during our meetings and special events. He shared his vast knowledge of many subjects , but especially government , with our membership. The entire club passes along the most heartfelt of condolences to Mary Lou and the entire faimily. We will provide a GUARD OF HONOR , as is our custom for deceased members . At the services on Tuesday. Rest In Peace Larry.

    Amity Club of New Haven

    Prisco Panza , Joe Palmucci , Michael Piscitelli , Daniel Coraluzzi
    Offices 2019-19

  14. What a wonderful man. In the early days of his political career, my band, The Galvanized Jazz Band, played for several of Larry’s events. In 1984, Larry and Mary showed up at my Mom and Dad’s 50th anniversary celebration. My Mom and Dad were so proud, and so surprised. May he rest in peace.

  15. I was saddened to learn of Larry’s death. I first new Larry through Hamden politicos and then through Albertus Magnus College where we worked together.. Larry was a perceptive leader understanding the need for new programs and approaches to continuing education. Although he and I disagreed politically, I always respected his integrity and honesty. My deepest condolences to the family

  16. Larry, as another Poli Sci student from Albertus I will miss you both as my favorite professor and a friend. I learned so much from you in class, from the readings you assigned and from answering your exam questions. I still remember with amusement the student who begged you to stop giving essay exams in our American Government class and to switch to multiple choice. You informed her that your multiple choice exams would be far more difficult. She refused to believe it and you gave in for one exam. You were right — it was the most difficult exam I’ve taken — Texas bar exam included. Your life has been an example to us all. I will also miss our correspondence through the years. Rest in peace. Paula (Susie) Kent

  17. I was saddened to read of Larry’s passing. He was always a gentleman and worked for the good of all his friends, neighbors and students. He will be missed by many. My prayers go out to the family. Fondly Lisa Leary

  18. Sincerest condolences on the passing of your loved one, Larry was a very warm person with whom I had the opportunity and pleasure to work with at UNH, We know he will missed tremendously, but God had other plans for him. Our sincerest sympathy to all of his family and may he now rest in peace. Silvia and David Hyde

  19. To Mary Lou and the Larry DeNardis family , with sadness for your loss of beloved Larry we extend our sincere condolences with our sympathy..

    Very early Hamden neighbors of Larry and Mary Lou.
    Nick and Shirley Karabatsos

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