Jean Kerrigan died peacefully on October 5, 2021. In her last days and weeks, Jean was cared for by her friends and family, especially her sister-in-law, Claire, and her niece, Meg. The staff of the Champlain Valley Senior Community in Willsboro and High Peaks Hospice provided wonderful care and comfort in her last days.
Jean was born in East Orange New Jersey on September 10, 1929. Jean spent most of her life in West Caldwell New Jersey and lived in Westport New York for the last two decades. Jean was predeceased by her mother, Agnes, and father C. Alfred, and her beloved husband, Eugene Kerrigan.
Jean attended St. Aloysius Grammar School, Mount St. Dominic Academy, and Caldwell College for Women, all in Caldwell New Jersey. She later earned a Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Montclair State. Jean began work at the Prudential Insurance Company in Newark New Jersey, where her father and paternal aunt, Adele, also worked. Jean worked for the federal government in the 1950s as a “human computer”. Jean went on to teach mathematics to generations of high school students at Mount St Dominic, Morris Catholic, Union Catholic and retired from Paul the 6th.
In 1973 Jean married Eugene Kerrigan. They lived in West Caldwell until Gene’s death in 1995, when Jean moved to Westport New York to join her brother Edward Kroeplin and his wife, Claire, and her sister Elizabeth Kroeplin. Jean was a member of the Westport Garden Club and the parish of St. Philip Neri. Jean was a part of a community of friends brought together through meals and decaf mocha lattes at the Dogwood Bread Company in Wadhams NY. These friendships sustained Jean throughout her time in the Adirondacks and provided her with love and care at the end of her life. Jean was a wonderful aunt to her niece and nephew, Meg and Edward, taking them on ‘mystery rides’, remembering every holiday. Jean was an avid gardener, growing potatoes and onions enough to last the entire winter and continued offering advice until the end, suggesting the best to overwinter basil a few days before her death.
Jean is survived by her sister, Elizabeth of Westport NY, her brother, Edward, and sister-in-law, Claire, of Westport NY and West Caldwell NJ, nephew, Edward Kroeplin of St. Albans VT, niece Meg Kroeplin and partner Erika Mijlin of Amherst MA, and great-nephew, Harry Oakes-Kroeplin of Amherst MA and Asheville NC.
There will be a funeral Mass on Friday, October 8, 2021, at 11 AM at St. Philip Neri Church in Westport New York. Jean will be buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in East Hanover NJ on Wednesday, October 13, 2021. Jean’s care is entrusted to Heald Funeral Home in Elizabethtown New York and Farmer Funeral Home in Roseland NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jean’s name to High Peaks Hospice or the Westport Emergency Squad.
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