Richard Thomas McKernan

October 1, 1937 ~ May 3, 2019 (age 81)

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It is with great sadness that the family of Richard Thomas McKernan announces his passing on May 3rd, 2019.  He was surrounded by his family in the comfort of his home in Wolfeboro, NH.

He was born October 1, 1937 in Harrisburg, PA and a native of Williamsport, PA. Dick attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Connecticut, where he received a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering, respectively.

His business and charitable endeavors were successful and always self-attributed to blind luck and infectious hard work. Dick’s early career was with the Norden Systems division of United Technologies in Norwalk, CT where he designed  the avionics for military jets.  Following a career at Norden, his entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and he joined a start-up called Canberra Industries in Meriden CT.  Dick spent the remainder of his career with Canberra, and its subsidiary operation Packard Bioscience Company.  His tireless work ethic resulted in a career that encompassed numerous operating roles, including Senior Vice-President and Director of Packard BioScience Company and the President of Packard Instrument Company.  Over the course of his 30 plus years working at Canberra/Packard, Dick and his colleagues commercialized numerous leading-edge technologies that positively impacted the biotechnology and life sciences market place. 

For 81 years, Dick perfected the art of dry humor, risky start-ups, Irish golf and endurance reading.  He had a curious mind and he was an avid reader of history, science, music, poetry, medicine and game theory.  Whether he was teaching his young children to play bridge, or spending time dissecting the intricacies of an algebra equation for a son’s math homework, Dick was  happiest being with his family and friends at Lake  Winnipesaukee in, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire or  in Vero Beach, Florida where he and Jinny spent their Winters.  He was an honorable man who lived his life with a spirit of gratitude, generosity, kindness and humility. Above all he was a gentleman.

Dick served his country in the US Air Force.  He served on the Boards of numerous organizations, including Chairman of Mooreland Hill School, New Britain General Hospital, the Analytical Life Sciences Systems Association, Packard Bioscience Corporation and Canberra Industries, Chairman of Agencourt Biosciences Corporation, Agencourt Personal Genomics, Courtagen Life Sciences, Medicinal Genomics Corporation and Connecticut United for Research Excellence.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Jinny (Judd) McKernan and their four children:  R. Brian McKernan and wife Kelly of Boston MA; Dr. Melissa McKernan-Pulliam and husband, Dr. R.Ward Pulliam of Lancaster, PA;  Brendan McKernan and wife  KyAnn of Marblehead, MA ; Kevin McKernan and wife Becky of Marblehead, MA and 6 grandchildren - Connor, Aidan, Caleb, Elsa, Declan McKernan and Kaelynn Grace Pulliam; and a brother, Robert McKernan of Williamsport, PA and several nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Anna Lynch McKernan and F. Donald McKernan; sisters, Ann Claire Paris and Regina Crouse and brother, F. Donald McKernan.

Dick was a long time member of The Shuttle Meadow Clun in Kensington, Connecticut.  At the time of his death he was a member of Bald Peak Colony Club in Melvin Village, New Hampshire and The Riomar Country Club, The Moorings Yacht and Country Club and the Quail Valley Club in Vero Beach, Florida.

A Mass in celebration of Dick’s life will be held on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at 10:00 o’clock at the St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church, 40 Hidden Springs Road, Alton, New Hampshire with the Reverend Robert Cole officiating.  A reception will follow.

 Memorial Donations in memory of Dick can be made to:  Stand Up To Cancer at or Project CBD at or Lakes Region Conservation Trust

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard Thomas McKernan, please visit our floral store.


Funeral Mass
August 17, 2019

10:00 AM
St Katharine Drexel Catholic Church
40 Hidden Springs Road
Alton, New Hampshire 03809

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