CONTOOCOOK – Thomas J. Kerins, age 100, passed away while surrounded by family at his home in Contoocook on Friday, June 28, 2013. Tom was born in Lawrence, Mass., on April 22, 1913, to Thomas and Katherine (King) Kerins. He was a graduate of Lawrence High School.
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Tom married his neighborhood sweetheart from south Lawrence, Sarah (Sally) Hardacre, in 1936. They were blessed with four children, all of whom survive him: Katherine Carr and Thomas Kerins Jr., both of Contoocook; Roberta Kerins SCH of New York; and William Kerins of New Orleans, La. Tom is also survived by a daughter-in-law, Ruth Boulet, of New Orleans; as well as grandchildren Michael, Kathleen, Thomas, Kevin, Maura, Ellen, Elizabeth, Sarahjon, William, Henry and their spouses; 21 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; 22 foster children; and numerous nieces and nephews. Sally, his wife of 61 years, predeceased him, as did his brother, John, his stepbrother, Patrick McDonough, and his son-in-law, James Carr.
In 1933, Tom began a 43-year career as a milkman. He loved his work, first with Shawsheen Dairy and later with H.P. Hood & Sons, from which he retired in 1975 after 34 years.
Throughout his life, Tom was dedicated to helping those in need. He was a longtime active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and he was never happier than when he could assist an individual or family through a temporary crisis. He loved his church, St. Michael, and he remained an active volunteer even after moving to New Hampshire. Until the age of 99, he looked forward to traveling once a week to St. Michael to assist the staff in putting out the weekly bulletin. He also served as a primary caregiver to his mother-in-law, Elizabeth, his brother-in-law, Russell, and his wife, Sally, throughout their long illnesses. In his final years, he was lovingly served by members of St. Theresa Parish of Henniker.
Tom is remembered fondly for his sense of humor and his unending jokes, as well as his deep love of family. He valued hard and honest work as only someone who lived through the Great Depression could. He loved singing and had a beautiful tenor voice. He was a dog lover, a wonderful baker and cook, an avid reader and student of history, a lifelong Red Sox fan, a deeply devout Catholic and a proud Irishman. He had an incredible memory – until the end of his life he would share stories about life during the Depression and World War II. Everyone who knew and loved him looked to him as an example of how to be a devoted husband and father and an active member of his parish and community.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Michael's Parish in North Andover, Mass.
Family and friends may call from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at the Conte Funeral Home, 17 Third St., North Andover, MA, 01845.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in the name of Thomas Kerins may be made to the St. Michael St. Vincent de Paul Society, 190 Main St., North Andover, MA.
For directions or to offer online condolences, please visit www.contefuneralhomes.com.
Conte Funeral Home - North Andover
17 3rd Street North Andover, MA 01845
Published in The Concord Monitor on June 30, 2013