Thomas Matthew Kearns Sr.

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Nov. 2, 2012

Thomas Matthew Kearns Sr., architect, educator, volunteer and lifelong resident of West Pittston, passed away peacefully Friday morning at the age of 81 surrounded by his family.

Tom was born May 24, 1931, at the home of his parents, the late Thomas Kearns and Kathleen Mangan Kearns. He was a proud graduate of the West Pittston High School and The Pennsylvania State University, where he received a degree in Architectural Engineering. He joined the service upon graduation, where he served as 1st Lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers. Soon after his service, he married his wife of 43 years, Patricia Ann Hannon Kearns.

Mr. Kearns' professional career spanned five decades beginning as a college professor at The Pennsylvania State University prior to working as a Registered Architect and Professional Engineer. As propitiator of architectural firms in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, Tom's architectural work was spread throughout the northeast from Boston to Virginia. Some of Tom's proudest architectural work was centered around educational projects at The Pennsylvania State University - University Park and Scranton campuses, and many local colleges and school districts.

Throughout his life, Tom volunteered his time and expertise to dozens of civic and community organizations. Tom served as President of the Pittston Kiwanis Club, Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, West Pittston Cherry Blossom Festival Committee, Wyoming Area Football Parents Association, and Wyoming Area School Board. He served Vice Presidential terms for the Wyoming Valley United Fund and Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce. He sat on the Board of Directors for the Steamtown USA Foundation, Red Cross -- Wyoming Valley Chapter, American Institute of Architects - Northeast PA Chapter, West Pittston Ambulance Association, and the Pittston YMCA. Other affiliations included The Pennsylvania Society of New York, Westmoreland Club, Fox Hill Country Club, Wilkes-Barre, Chamber of Commerce, Scranton Chamber of Commerce, and the Scranton Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus and the West Pittston Library. Tom led the effort by the Wyoming Area Football Parents that was instrumental in salvaging and relocating the Wyoming Area "Victory Bell" from the old West Pittston High School to its current location at the school's football field.

Tom's proudest work was with the students of the Wyoming Area School District and specifically the WA Drama Department. Tom loved sharing his love and knowledge of the theater with the drama students and spent countless hours working with the kids designing and constructing theatrical sets. He organized visits from Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Frank and Malachy McCourt, tours of the New York City theater district and behind-the-scene tours of the Metropolitan Opera House to further the growth and interest in theater arts. Tom, along with his family has established an yearly scholarship for a senior member of the drama department.

Tom is survived by his wife, Patricia, and four sons, Thomas Jr. and his wife, Daneen of West Pittston; John and his wife, Mary, of West Pittston; Patrick and his wife, Heather, of Aurora, Colorado, and Matthew and his wife, Molly, of Exeter. He has four grandchildren, Thomas III (T.J.), Brady, Shannon, and Ryan; sister Mary Boone; numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his niece Kathleen Boone.

The Kearns family would like to thank Tate Dobosh and the staff at Timber Ridge Nursing Home for their exceptional care they have provided for their father over the last few years.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. in St. John the Evangelist Church, William Street, Pittston. Those attending are asked to go directly to the church. Interment will be in Mountain View Burial Park, Harding. Friends may call Wednesday, November 7, 2012 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Peter J. Adonizio Funeral Home, 251 William Street, Pittston.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Wyoming Area Drama Club or the West Pittston Library. Online condolences may be made at


Published in Times Leader on Nov. 6, 2012
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