Kristin Lee Kearins
June 6, 1982 – September 19, 2008
Parents: Pam Kearins Sheehy and William Kearins (deceased)
Brendan Sheehy (stepfather)
Sisters and Brothers: Mia Kearins Fagan and her brother-in-law Mike, Kasie Kearins Sullivan and her brother -in-law Mike, Billy Kearins and his wife Dorthe, Stepbrothers Brendan Sheehy, Mike Sheehy, Tim Sheehy, and stepsister Colleen Sheehy McCormick
Andover High School – Class of 2000
4 years Varsity Gymnastics, Captain Sr. year
4 years Varsity Swim and Diving, Captain Sr. year
Plymouth State University – Class of 2004
B.A. Early Childhood
4 years Swim and Dive
Children’s Hospital, Boston
Nursing Assistant, Emergency Department
Kristin ‘Krit’ Kearins was born on June 6, 1982 at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital in Melrose, Massachusetts. Krit was the baby of the Kearins family, an adorable blonde who from an early age made it clear she was determined to enjoy life to its fullest. Krit was a happy, energetic child who cherished her 3 older siblings (Mia, Kasie and Billy) and had a very special bond with her parents. She was all about family and when years later, hers expanded to include the Sheehys, Fagans and Sullivans, it brought even more joy into her life. Krit was dedicated and loyal to all who were lucky enough to know her. To say she had a heart of gold is an understatement.
Krit attended Sanborn Elementary School in Andover, and then West Middle, where she made many friends who remained close to her throughout high school, college and beyond. In nursery school her mother signed her up for a gymnastics class and she fell in love with the sport. Krit was strong, flexible and smart. She was quickly moved up to the competitive team at Merrimac Valley Gymnastics in Methuen where she excelled, winning numerous medals and trophies over the years. The shelves in her bedroom were filled with memories of competitions from Massachusetts to New York to Arizona. The new friends she made along the way were just as important to Krit as the accolades. She was the definition of a good sport, competitive yet compassionate. Over the years, Krit also competed for Northeast Gymnastics in Wilmington and Miller’s Gymnastics in Tewksbury.
As a member of the Indian Ridge Country Club, Krit also began diving. From the moment she hit the diving board, it was clear that her elegant style and twisting ability would take her far in the sport. From there she followed in her sisters’ footsteps and continued her competitive diving for Andover High School.
At Andover High School, Krit was a top varsity diver and gymnast who helped lead both teams to their first State Championship titles. She was captain of both the Swim and Dive team and the Gymnastics team during her senior year. Krit graduated from Andover High in 2000 and went on to attend Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. There, she continued her diving career, setting school records on the three and one meter diving board, her favorite event. She would remain involved in the sport even after college graduation. She coached the diving team at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence for two years and coached part time back at Indian Ridge.
Krit graduated from PSU in 2004 with a degree in Early Childhood Education.
She eventually moved to Boston and began searching for a career that would fulfill her strong desire to help others, especially children with whom she had a unique connection. She found what she was looking for in the medical field when she was hired by Children’s Hospital in Boston.
As a Nursing Assistant in the Emergency Department, Krit was known for her amazing ability to communicate with her young patients, even in the most trying of circumstances. She could perform her duties while providing calm assurance to the children and their parents. This was something the doctors and nurses she worked with immediately noticed.
Krit decided to go back to school to get her degree in nursing and had begun taking the required science courses while keeping her fulltime job.
After work on Friday, September 12, Krit stopped to have dinner with a friend and then got on her bike for the short ride home, where she was to meet up with another friend. That is when tragedy struck. A stranger walking over the Charles River Dam Bridge near the Museum of Science in Boston found Krit unresponsive on the ground, her bike next to her. She ran into the nearby State Police Barracks for help. Krit was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital where doctors diagnosed her with a severe brain injury and put her on life support. She was surrounded by family and friends as she fought to survive. Kristin Lee Kearins lost her battle for life on September 19, 2008 and was laid to rest on September 23, 2008.
While those who loved her may never know what happened on that bridge or why Kristin was taken from us so soon, we will forever cherish the many memories we have of her beautiful, smiling face, her strong character and her giving heart.