Harwich – Mr. Paul J. Kerns, Jr., of Harwich, formerly of Waltham and Newton, died Friday, July 29, 2022 at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was 77.
Paul was born in Brighton at Saint Elizabeth's Hospital on February 11, 1945, a son of the late Paul J. and Eileen (Fitzpatrick) Kerns. He was raised in Newton where he attended Sacred Heart High School. He then went on to earn his bachelor's degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, class of 1967.
On January 8, 1972 the best part of his life began when he married Michaela "Mickey" Leahy in Saint Charles Borromeo Church in Waltham and the couple made Waltham their lifelong home before retirement brought them to the Cape.
In addition to being Mickey's soulmate, Paul was the most adoring father to his three daughters and many foster children over the years. His love for his daughters had no bounds. Paul was always there supporting his girls in all their academic, athletic and life endeavors. When his grandchildren arrived his world became complete.
While Paul had the heart of an athlete, he will be long remembered for being a devoted husband, brother, father, uncle, and grandfather . . . roles that he considered the most important in the world. Paul was a man of few words with a reserved demeanor but when he spoke he commanded the attention and respect of the whole room. Each day he exemplified the Holy Cross motto "men and women for others."
As a graduate of Suffolk University Law School, class of 1971, Paul built a distinguished legal career starting as an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County. Ultimately, Paul maintained a private practice in Newton where he was passionate about trial law, public defense, and representing the disenfranchised. He was also a trained medic and served with the United States Army Reserves during the Vietnam War.
Paul remained a faithful supporter of Holy Cross throughout his life, eagerly looking forward to alumni events, reunions and basketball games. During his retirement, Paul was also an active member of the monthly Holy Cross Alumni Breakfast of Champions at the Hyannis Hearth and Kettle.
A lifelong sports fan, Paul was a standout athlete in high school and in college where he excelled as a two sport athlete in baseball and basketball. An avid runner, he conquered heartbreak hill as a two-time finisher of the Boston Marathon. His interest in sports included being a devotee of the Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots.
In addition to his beloved wife of fifty years, Mickey, he leaves his children, Molly L. Gorman (Colin) of Charlestown, Jennifer L. Kerns of Burlington, Vermont and Maggie F. Miller (Jared) of Groton; his grandchildren, Emmett, Audrey and Claire Gorman and Lucy and Eleanor Miller; his sister, Mary Jeppesen (Russell) of Newington, New Hampshire and many nieces, nephews and their families.
He was also the brother of the late Francis Kerns.
Family and friends will honor and remember Paul's life by gathering for calling hours in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham on Tuesday, August 2nd from 4 to 8 p.m. and again at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning before leaving in procession to Saint Bernard's Church, 1523 Washington Street, West Newton where his Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Waltham.
To watch a broadcast of Paul's Funeral Mass please visit https://my.gather.app/remember/paul-kerns
Memorial donations may be made to one of Paul's favorite places to shoot hoops, Waltham Boys and Girls Club, 20 Exchange Street, Waltham, MA, 02451 or Ellis Early Learning, 58 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA, 02116.