R.I.P. Kerri Donlin, NHS Class of 1998

Another tragedy has happened in Newington, and this one strikes at the heart of the Boisvert/Donlin clan that produced so many fine athletes and wonderful people during my time at NHS. I am just devastated to learn that Kerri Donlin, a member of the Newington High School Class of 1998, has died at the age of 27.

I didn’t know Kerri terribly well, but I attended many of her soccer games (she went on to play for the University of New Haven), and her cousin Tara is one of my best friends in Newington. That whole extended family is just great, full of so many genuinely nice people, and it’s horrible that they’re dealing with a tragedy like this. (Kerri’s death may have been caused by a heart condition of some kind, but it’s still not entirely clear. Anyway, it was totally unexpected.)

The wake is Sunday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Newington Memorial Funeral Home, and the funeral is Monday at 9 a.m., I guess starting at Newington Memorial and then processing to the Church of the Holy Spirit for a Mass at 10 a.m. The obit says that memorial donations can be made to the American Heart Association, 2550 U.S. Highway 1, North Brunswick, NJ 08902.

Friends can share a memory and leave messages of condolence for the family on the Newington Memorial site. You can read what others have written here.

Rest in peace, Kerri.

P.S. Here is Kerri’s MySpace page, which has now become something of a tribute page as well.

8 Responses to “R.I.P. Kerri Donlin, NHS Class of 1998”

  1. David K. says:

    May God watch over her and her family during this tough tough time.

  2. Gardner says:

    That is very sad. Especially the finance part. I had a neighbor once who died the night BEFORE his wedding That was rough.

  3. Brendan Loy says:

    Gardner, the night before the wedding? Jeez!!

    I’ve always thought that it must be especially difficult to lose a fiance or fiancee (or for that matter, a serious boyfriend/girlfriend with whom you fully plan to spend the rest of your life, but haven’t formalized it yet) because you get all the grief of losing a husband or wife without all the sympathy. Oh, the people who know the couple well, and know the situation, will of course express their heartfelt sympathy, but in general, people direct their condolences primarily toward the parents and blood relatives… whereas once you’re married, it’s of course the spouse who gets the biggest outpouring of sympathy. Of course, no amount of sympathy can actually take away any of the pain that a person feels upon losing a loved one, so maybe it doesn’t really matter that much. But I guess it’s just that a boyfriend/girlfriend/fiance/fiancee isn’t really part of the “family” yet, so that has to make it tough. It at least has the potential to be more difficult, depending on the situation and how everyone involved handles it.

    Mind you, that’s all just general thought on the tragic type of situation, nothing specific to what’s happened here.

  4. Brendan Loy says:

    Random memory about Kerri and the rest of the Donlins (and Boisverts). Kerri was in the Class of 1998; Tara was in the Class of 1999, like me; Kristen Donlin was either Class of 1998 or 2000, I can’t remember which; and Colleen Donlin was Class of 2001. So, for a year, Tara’s and my junior year (Kerri’s senior), there were four Boisvert/Donlins on the girls varsity team at NHS. (And Tara’s older sister, Nicki, had graduated just two years before.) They were a real soccer dynasty in town.

  5. lib says:

    My 41 year old brother died on Jan 29. He was in good shape, a good athlete. The Orange County Coroner found that he died from Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and complications from Congestive Heart Failure. HCM is an inherited disease, so I had several heart and vasular test today to see if I’ve got the condition. Luckily, I don’t. My children and all of my nieces and nephews and siblings will be tested as well. HCM is rare but it has been attributed to young athletes who just die while they’re seemingly healthy. She may have had a similar congential heart defect which was not detected.
    My prayers go out to her family, friends and neighbors. It’s a tough gig.

  6. Hey Brendan,

    I thought I would clear somethings up. Unfortunately, we don’t know what happened to our Kerri. It may have been a heart condition, but we have not heard anything confirming that yet. But you are right, this was very unexpected! As far as being engaged, she was not. The obituary was worded wrong. The fiance listed, Bill, was actually her friend Rihannon’s fiance. My dad thought it was important to list her roommates since her friends were such a big part of her life. Kerri’s boyfriend was actually the last friend listed, Eric Speringo. They had only been together for a short time. I really do appreciate that you spread the word, I just want the right information provided, that’s all. Thanks again for all the kind words and good luck with your graduation!


  7. Brendan Loy says:

    Hi Kristin, thanks for the info… I have modified the post accordingly. And again my deepest condolences and best wishes to the family in this trying time.