03/07/2013 10:00 a.m. EST • Last Updated 03/07/2013 10:13 a.m.
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Geoffrey Moore Kerrigan, 91, of Essex, died peacefully on Feb. 21 at the Middlesex Hospice, surrounded by loved ones. He was the husband of the late Marjorie Brooks Kerrigan, who predeceased him on May 13, 2009. Geoffrey was born in London, Ontario, Canada, on Nov. 6, 1921, son of the late Harold G Kerrigan and Francis Maud (Fleming) Kerrigan. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941, at the age of 19, and in 1942 was the radar training officer at the Operational Training Unit (OTU) in Thornaby, Yorkshire, England, in charge of 15 Canadian radar mechanics for the Coastal Command in the U.K. He trained new aircrew on Wellington, Hudson, B24 Liberators, and other aircraft about how to use the newest radar to search for German submarines. Crews included English, Czech, and Polish airmen. In 1943, Geoffrey married Marjorie Brooks, who was a flight controller at the Thornaby Yorkshire Airfield, also serving in Scotland from 1941 to 1944. After D-Day, September 1944, Geoffrey and Marjorie were returned to Canada, where Geoffrey was discharged from the RCAF in October 1945 as flight lieutenant with the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal. Geoffrey and Marjorie lived in Fredericton while Geoffrey attended the University of New Brunswick. In 1952, Geoffrey was commissioned as the only Canadian with the Canadian Defense Research Board and on loan to the British Ministry of Supply to assist with telemetry in their atomic weapons trials in northern Australia. One such test was named “Project Hurricane,” about which a movie was made, and in which Geoffrey can be seen several times. In 1958, the family moved to Winchester, Massachusetts, and in 1978, Geoffrey retired and moved to Essex. Geoffrey loved to sail, and at 91 was one of the oldest active R/C sailing members in the U.S. He also loved to play golf, build model boats and planes, garden, and most of all, play with his nine great-grandchildren whenever they came to visit. He would show them his modeling shop in the basement, where he would make them a small wooden boat to take home. He is survived by three sons, David and his wife Jean of Crystal Lake, Illinois, Michael and his wife Kimberly of St. Michaels, Maryland, and Brian Peter of Essex. He is also survived by eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his sisters, Barbara and Jocelyn, and his brothers, Peter and Harold.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 15, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 23 Main St., Essex, at 1:30 p.m., followed by burial in the Church Memorial Garden. A reception will take place in the parish hall following the burial. Memorial donations may be made to the Middlesex Hospice Unit, 28 Crescent St., Middletown, CT 06457. The Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home, Centerbrook, is in charge of arrangements. To share a memory of Geoffrey, or to leave a condolence for his family, please visit www.rwwfh.com.