Alice G. Kiernan Print E-mail

Alice G. Kiernan

A member of a well-known Lowell family;

Alice Gertrude Kiernan, 97, died on Saturday December 1, 2018 at the Carleton-Willard Village in Bedford following a period of failing health.

She was born January 14, 1921, in Lowell, one of seven children of William Russell Kiernan Sr. and Anna (Doyle) Kiernan. She was educated at Notre Dame Academy, the Bartlett School and Lowell High School and was a graduate of State Teachers College at Lowell (which later became the University of Lowell and then the University of Massachusetts - Lowell.)

She received her Master’s Degree in Education from Boston University.

Alice taught at the Bartlett School, a satellite school connected with State Teachers College at Lowell, prior to becoming a professor of education at the University of Massachusetts - Lowell with a concentration in teaching children’s literature. She remained at the University for the remainder of her career. She retired in 1983 with the rank of professor emeritus.

She received awards and recognition from her alma mater, including the Coburn Award for Professional Excellence from the University of Lowell College of Education in 1983 and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Lowell College of Education in 1992 and 2002; and was honored by St. Patrick’s Parish Irish Cultural Committee in 2005 as Irish Person of the Year.

She enjoyed traveling and visited relatives in Ireland with her sisters, the late Sr. Mary of the Incarnation (Anna Kiernan) and the late Mary (Kiernan) Howland.  She also visited Aruba, Barbados, and other areas of the Caribbean with friends.

She lived most of her life in the family home on Phillips Street, in a part of Lowell known as “The Acre”  until declining health led to a move to Lexington where she lived with her nephew, John C. Kiernan and his wife, Dr. Brenda Nishimura.

After Alzheimer’s progressed to the point where she needed full-time nursing care, Alice Kiernan moved to the Carleton-Willard Village a short distance away.  She made many friends there and enjoyed chats over an afternoon cup of tea.

She was a member of the Sodality of Mary and a lifelong parishioner of St. Patrick’s Church in Lowell.

She was known for her generosity of spirit and inherited her father’s sense of humor and fondness for the Boston Red Sox.

Alice was an exceedingly generous person. She faithfully attended several family members in the Phillips Street home during their declining years and assisted other members of her extended family in many ways, large and small.

During her final years living alone on Phillips Street, she would be seen out walking almost every day, well into her 90s.  She knew and was a friend to her many neighbors, young and old.

She was predeceased by her parents and six siblings, Anna G. Kiernan (Sr. Mary of the Incarnation), Mary Kiernan Howland, John Kiernan, William R. Kiernan Jr., Cornelius F. Kiernan and Joseph R. Kiernan, Sr. and by a great grand-niece, Peyton Elizabeth McFaun in 1999.

Survivors include eight nieces and nephews and their spouses, Mary Ann McFaun (Francis); John H. Howland, Jr., William G. Howland (Betsy), Margaret Howland-Mastro (Ken) William R. Kiernan, III, Dr. Joseph R. Kiernan (Llynne), Glenn C. Howland (Anne); and John C. Kiernan (Brenda)and several great-nieces and great-nephews, Katherine McFaun Williams, Bennet Francis McFaun, Mary Alice McFaun, Charles Stephenson Howland, Emily Kiernan Proell, Alison Jane  Howland, Mariah Donnis  Howland, James Kiernan, Erin Kiernan, Joseph Ryan Kiernan, Jacqueline Kiernan and Matthew Kiernan, and a step-great-niece, Vanessa Joan Fatton.

Family and friends may call Saturday morning December 8, 2018 at the O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME 276 PAWTUCKET ST. in LOWELL from 10 to 12 Noon followed by her Committal Prayers at the Chapel at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Lowell. E-condolences/directions at Those wishing may make contributions in her memory to Alzheimer’s Assn., 309 Waverly Oaks Rd., Waltham, MA 02452. Arrangements by Funeral Director James F. O’Donnell, Jr.  (978) 458-8768.

Condolences (2)
  • Jim Boenis  - To The Kiernan Family..From a Neighbor
    My sincere condolences to the Kiernan Family. As a young boy I delivered the morning Boston paper to Alice and Judge Kiernan on Phillips St. In recent years I would see Alice walking in the neighborhood and we would chat about many things such as changing education and the neighborhood. She had a long wonderful life. As a side note about 1987, my wife and I met Alice's nephew Dr. Kiernan when he was an intern at the Floating Hospital in Boston. My son was born a premie and spent many months there. We chatted with him at the time about Alice and the Judge. I think he moved on to Maine if I can remember. My Best to the Family. May Alice's Memory Be Eternal!! Jim Boenis Lowell, MA
  • Martha Kiernan Wolfe  - Alice G. Kiernan
    Deepest sympathy to the Kiernan family on the loss of cousin Alice (first cousin of my father, the late James V. Kiernan). While I did not see Alice often, I have clear and pleasant memories of her. One of the last times I saw her was when Julien and I managed to get lost driving in Lowell - I was slowly orienting myself when we saw Alice walking along! She had us in the family home for a lovely and unexpected visit. Martha Kiernan Wolfe and husband, Julien Windsor, Ontario Canada
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