Funeral services and Mass of Christian Burial for Richard T. “Dick” Kerrigan will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, January 20, 2023 at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Davenport. Burial will be at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to the Mass at church. Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home in Davenport is assisting the family with arrangements.
What a great man! That was Richard Kerrigan, loved by so many. Richard Theodore Aloysius Kerrigan passed away on January 15, 2023 at the home of his significant other of 45 years, Helen Delacluyse. He was surrounded by his dear caregivers, caring nurses, and his dear Helen.
Dick, as he was called most of his life was hard working, kind, so generous, caring, loving, and very intelligent, with an infectious sense of humor that included a silly Irish twist. He was born to parents, Joseph Kerrigan and Blanche Gasseling, who also gave birth to Joe and Mary Jane, his two siblings. Dick was the middle child who could always hold his own.
From the time he was five years old, Dick lived on Colorado Street in Davenport, which later became a haven for so many. His nieces and nephews always felt very comfortable being at Dick’s house, having fun, doing homework, etc. From Uncle Dick, they learned to play tennis, golf, and many other things. His nephew, Dan lived with Dick for 13 years until his marriage at 20. His niece, Jennifer, later became his helper, working somewhat on his books. Also good friends lived there. He took good care of his Aunt Lil and dear parents until their death. No wonder he has always been so prized.
While in college, Dick was drafted into the Army for three years. His great typing ability eventually made him the choice for General MacArthur’s office.
After finishing his three years in the Army and college, Dick worked for a time at Alcoa, but General Motors was his long-time employment. He worked there until he was 62 years old. He worked as a supervisor for their floor plan which afforded some interesting experiences. His position spoke of his abilities and an appreciation of co-workers and supervisors.
Dick met Helen, his friend, at age 55. She was 45. Through dances, shows and parties, etc., they became friends and eventually he became her significant other. Dick and Helen really enjoyed both families, here, and in California. They often went to California to visit his brother, sister-in-law, nieces, and cousins. He and Helen experienced sad times too. The death of their parents, siblings, and good friends. The passing of his parents, sister, Mary Jane, and brother were the hardest for Dick at that time.
For most of his life, Dick was a healthy man due greatly to his love of sports; tennis, golf, pool and other sports. He always enjoyed helping his smaller nieces and nephews with their games, and he so loved directing his young baseball team, and so did they.
At about 82 years, Dick came to live at Helen’s house in Rock Island. Doctor’s orders, he could no longer live alone. After a time, Dick and Helen were exposed to covid. Because Dick was in bed for some time, he lost his ability to walk. Shortly before this, Dick developed dementia. This did not in any way diminish his great spirit or sense of humor.
After taking care of Dick for five years, Helen’s osteoporosis became a problem. She could no longer do everything for Dick as before. Thus we needed help. His niece Jennifer worked hard to find good caregivers. Diane, an experienced caregiver, found most of these great helpers. Later, we were fortunate enough to receive the aid of hospice. Maggie was his special nurse. His great bath lady was Keli; both for his entire time with hospice. The pastor at St. Pius allowed us to have Rose Mary, their good parish nurse, bring us communion weekly and help Dick where needed. For the last months Donna and Jean W. have also been allowed to bring us communion from St. Paul’s.
Dick’s life was such a great blessing for many of us. To say he will be missed is a great understatement.
Those left to honor his memory include his dear Helen; nieces, Kris, Teri Jo, Michelle, Maureen, Jacque, Kathleen; nephews, Dan and Greg; dear friends, Doug Brown and Joe Colarusso; several great nieces and nephews, including Jori, Jacqueline, Angi, Steve, and Greg Brown who were also very dear to Dick.
I know Dick would so want to thank his great caregivers, wonderful hospice members, church helpers, priests, and special friends.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Joe; sister, Mary Jane and niece, Jennifer Colarusso.
May God bless abundantly this most fabulous Richard T. Kerrigan who called everybody “rascals.” We all loved this man so dearly.