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Kerrigan says "father behind me always"

Working-class dad worked two jobs to keep daughter on the ice

Nancy Kerrigan became a household name in 1994 when she was assaulted by Tonya Harding's ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and friend Shawn Eckardt at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit.
Nancy Kerrigan became a household name in 1994 when she was assaulted by Tonya Harding's ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and friend Shawn Eckardt at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit. (Getty Images)

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(01/28/2010) - The following statement was read by a Kerrigan family friend Wednesday before calling hours for Daniel Kerrigan.

• The family has decided to issue this statement because they wanted those of you in the media -- and the general public -- to know who Dan Kerrigan truly was.

• Dan Kerrigan was -- first and foremost -- a man whose family was the center of his world. He had three children: Nancy, Michael and Mark, and eight grandchildren. He saw his grandchildren all the time and was a major part of their lives. Nancy and her three children were at her parents' house virtually every day of the year. She describes her dad as an "extra parent" along with her and her husband Jerry.

• Dan's children say that "grandpa" put their children back to sleep better than anyone they know.

• His life revolved around helping his beloved wife of 47 years, Brenda, with the everyday tasks which challenged her because she is legally blind.

• Dan Kerrigan was the kind of guy who lived two houses away from his mother-in-law and was not only happy about it, but called her "Ma".

• He coached his two sons' teams in youth hockey and was President of the Stoneham figure skating club.

• Dan was born in nearby Woburn where he attended Woburn High School and played football. He recently had a reunion at the YMCA with a bunch of Woburn buddies and virtually everyone in the room knew him. A woman came up to him and told him that she always remembered him because he was the only one who would dance with her at the prom.

• He was the kind of person who not only kept in touch with his friends from high school, but saw them regularly, at least once a month.

• He was a person with a great sense of humor who loved to tease people and joke with them and make them laugh.

• Dan worked multiple jobs to support his family and his daughter's skating career. He was at the skating rink with Nancy every morning at 5:00 a.m. after two years of this, the people who owned the rink said, "hey, you want to learn the Zamboni and open up for us?" And he did!

• He was the youngest of 9 children -- but the one whom all the older ones went to for help!

• Dan was the kind of guy who loved gardening and enjoyed fixing things for people. If he came to your house and a doorknob was broken, he would not only point out that it was broken, but fix it for you on the spot!

• Nancy (Kerrigan) described her father as: "my support -- he was there behind me always."

• Michael (Kerrigan) remembered: "I was virtually unable to go anywhere, as a kid or an adult, without someone coming up to me and saying, with a big smile, 'I just saw your dad- he's the greatest'"

Thank you from the Kerrigan family and thank you for respecting their privacy.