Richard J. Kerrigan, Sr. passed away peacefully in his sleep Feb. 28, 2013 at the age of 101.|
Born on 11/11/1911, in Queenstown, County Cork, Ireland, he was the son of Josephine (nee Hegarty) and James Patrick Kerrigan, Sr. Josephine changed her mind about traveling to America on the RMS Titanic because her son was only five months old. She and young Richard came to America on the Mauretania I in 1912.
His father, already in America, had set up housekeeping for the family.
As a child, the family lived on Taney Street in South Philadelphia and later moved to Chestnut Street. Richard met his future wife, Marie Bernauer, while working at Wanamaker's in Philadelphia. Richard was a watchmaker and Marie worked in the greeting cards and sheet music departments. They married in 1937, lived on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia and moved to Delaware County, finally moving to Collingdale in 1947.
Richard was employed as a bartender at both Hesby's and McGee's in Philadelphia for many years. While working at the Columbus Inn in Wilmington, Del., Richard had the opportunity to meet entertainers who were working at The Grand or the Playhouse and would come in for dinner after their shows.
One night, two people came in dressed in fur vests, long hair and looking like hippies. Richard did not know who they were until after they left and he asked another employee of the bar. It turns out; it was Sonny and Cher in the early days of their careers. He also served Teresa Brewer, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez at the bar.
Richard was asked to travel to Spain with the Bar Association so they could have their own, dependable bartender for the trip. Richard, his wife and son, Richard, went on the trip and had a great time.
At the Columbus Inn, Richard met many people from the Homebuilder's Association including the Capano's. Richard was invited to a dinner at Hartefeld Golf Club and wound up sitting with Joe Biden's mother and was asked to give a short speech. If you knew Richard, you would know there was no such thing as a short speech. Richard retired from the Columbus Inn in the 1980s, after 20 years.
Richard loved to spend his summers in North Wildwood, N.J. He was a member of the Senior Center in North Wildwood where he spent many afternoons playing cards with his friends. He also enjoyed opening day at Delaware Park Race Track in Delaware. He would take members of the family, including his grandchildren, to the park and make a day of it. Richard and Marie were also active in the Senior Center at Collingdale Fire Company No. 1 and St. Joseph's Church in Collingdale.
The oldest of eight children, Richard was predeceased by his siblings, Mary Walker, James Kerrigan, Jr., the Rev. Joseph P. Kerrigan, Francis Kerrigan, John Kerrigan and William Kerrigan, Sr.
He was also predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Marie; his son, Richard, Jr.; and son-in-law, John Duffy.
Survivors: His daughter, Patricia Duffy; son, James F. (Patricia) Kerrigan; five grandchildren, Theresa Quinn, Bernadette (Michael) Masi, Barbara (John) Day, Michael Kerrigan and Christopher (Amy) Duffy ; seven great-grandchildren, Nolan Quinn, Alexis Day, Mitch Masi, Philip Quinn, Mark Masi, Teagan Duffy and Seamus Duffy; and his sister, Josephine Bowlby.
Viewing: From 6 to 8 p.m. today and after 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 6 at the O'Leary Funeral Home, 640 E. Springfield Road, Springfield, PA 19064.
Funeral Mass: 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 6 in St. Joseph Church, 500 Woodland Ave., Collingdale, PA 19023.
In lieu of flowers: Please make a donation to
in Richard's name.
Published in Daily Times on Mar. 4, 2013