Garvin P., 87, died at peace Friday, May 4, 2012, after a long illness. A resident of Ridgewood, NJ, for 52 years, Mr. Kiernan's life centered around his wife Lucille, their ten children and his career as a business executive, which he began in 1949, at the United States Corporation Company in New York City. For almost 40 years, Mr. Kiernan devoted his professional life to US Corp. Co., eventually becoming its President and co-owner. He became an established figure and well-recognized name in the business of providing corporate services to attorneys. Mr. Kiernan is remembered by those who knew him in the office as a hard-working, disciplined professional, who was always on the telephone and recognized as among those in the business "who were machines when it came to pushing out the work." Women who worked for Mr. Kiernan appreciated his respect for them and still tell a story about how he scolded a client who had been rude to a female employee on the phone. Those who worked with him knew Mr. Kiernan as a fair and decent human being who cared about his employees, taught them the business and encouraged them to "seek higher ground." US Corporation Company merged with Prentice Hall Corporate Services in the mid-1980s and Mr. Kiernan, as chairman, helped guide the transition until his retirement in 1988.
Mr. Kiernan was born on August 5, 1924 in Orange, New Jersey, the only child of William P. Kiernan, a chemical engineer and Alice Kiernan. He attended high school in Woodbridge, NJ, and for one year attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, where his father had studied. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942 and was deployed to the European Theater of Operations in 1945. He served as a Technical Sergeant with Headquarters Company of the 1st United States Army which participated in the Rhineland campaign from 1945 to the end of World War II. When then TSgt. Kiernan returned home to New Jersey, he resumed his studies at Seton Hall University in South Orange, graduating in 1949 with a degree in business administration. He met Lucille Bell of Cliffside Park, NJ, on a blind date and they were married on June 5, 1949 in a formal ceremony at the Church of the Epiphany in her home town, one day after Mr. Kiernan had graduated from college. After a week long honeymoon on Cape Cod, Mr. Kiernan began his career at US Corporation Company.
In the early 1950s, the couple established their home in Ridgewood, and Mr. Kiernan began the familiar suburban routine of commuting into New York's financial district on the train. He arrived home at precisely the same time each day for a sit down dinner with his very large family -- three daughters and seven sons. Dinner table conversation often involved a quiz on state capitals and discussion of current events.
To his children, Mr. Kiernan was known as "Pop." He loved books, especially mysteries, composer George Gershwin, Nat King Cole and pop singer Linda Ronstadt, electronics, and automobiles; he and his sons spent hours rebuilding the engine on a Triumph Spitfire in a barn behind their home In Ridgewood. During his retirement years, Mr. Kiernan was often seen marching around town on his daily walk which was more of a vigorous exercise ritual and never a stroll. His family will always have enduring images of Pop, the stylish driving caps he liked to wear, even in his final years, his oversized glasses and his big, warm smile. While he had a long and successful career in business, Mr. Kiernan's lasting legacy will be his gregarious and loving children and the generations to come who will carry on the family name and history.
At the time of his passing, Mr. Kiernan was cared for at The Cupola, a retirement community in Paramus, New Jersey. In addition to his wife of 62 years, Mr. Kiernan is survived by two daughters, Laura Kiernan Beeson of Concord, NH and Marguerite Welch of Grapevine, TX and seven sons, Chief Warrant Officer Thomas F. Kiernan U.S. Navy (ret) of Virginia Beach, VA; Steven P. Kiernan of Ridgewood; Robert W. Kiernan of Arlington, VA; David L. Kiernan of Sunderland, VT; Peter J. Kiernan of Ridgewood; John Garvin Kiernan of Midland Park and Andrew J. Kiernan of Rutherford and 17 grandchildren: Nicholas and Michael Kiernan Beeson; Daniel Kiernan, 4th Year Cadet Zachary Kiernan, (US Air Force ROTC) and Caitlin Kiernan; Kimberly and Garvin Sean Kiernan; David, Timothy, William and Jennifer Kiernan; Midshipman Patrick Kiernan (US Naval Academy), Darby and Jack Kiernan; Gillen Kiernan; and Katherine and James Welch. Mr. Kiernan was pre-deceased by his youngest child, Sarah Jeane and by an infant daughter Debra.
Visitors are welcome to join the Kiernan Family on Tuesday evening, May 8 from 7 to 9 PM at Feeney Funeral Home, 232 Franklin Avenue, Ridgewood. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:45 AM, Wednesday, May 9, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Ridgewood. Burial will follow at Valleau Cemetery in Ridgewood.
Memories of Mr. Kiernan and messages to the family can be posted at www.feeneyfuneralhome.com
Published in The Record/Herald News on 5/7/2012.
Published in The Record on May 7, 2012