Francis Kearns

Obituary of Francis Kearns

KEARNS, Francis “Frank” passed away on April 23, 2018 at the age of 86. He leaves behind Ann, his loving wife of 57 years, daughter Ellen, son Edward, daughter-in-law Sharon, and sister, Margaret LaConte. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Gertrude, and by his brothers George and Jack. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he graduated from NYU and went on to receive a Masters from the University of Chicago and a PhD from the University of North Carolina, where he met his future wife. Frank served in the CIA early in the Cold War, and began a long academic career at Georgetown, where he quickly ran into conflict with the administration for his support of the Civil Rights movement during the period leading up to the March on Washington. He spent the remainder of his academic career with the City University of New York’s Lehman College, where he became chair of the English department. His field was American literature, with specialties in Margaret Fuller and other transcendentalist writers and African-American authors. His proudest academic achievements were the successes of his students from poor backgrounds similar to his own, and teaching American literature to foreign students in Norway, France, and Hungary.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Patrick Church, Bedford Village. Interment to follow at Pound Ridge Cemetery.

Arrangements entrusted to Clark Associates Funeral Home, Katonah, NY.

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