Kerry Hunt Heidenis
1944 - 2018
Kerry Hunt Heidenis had a rich deep baritone/bass laugh, and an elegant speaking voice to go with it. Born to Stanley and Mary (Hunt) Heidenis of Cromwell, he joined a brother, Kent.
Kerry went to Cromwell schools, graduating in 1962. During his school years, he worked at Pierson's Nursery, as did many other Cromwell residents. He recalled fondly hearing the old men at Pierson's entertaining all listeners with their stories and antics.
Upon high school graduation, Kerry took a bus trip across the United States, served in the Army Reserves, and later enrolled at Manchester Community College. After a year, he gained entry to Central Connecticut State College, graduating in 1971. In 1970, he married Bernice Jones and they settled in Wallingford. The Heidenises had two sons, Brent in 1972, and Dean in 1976.
Kerry worked for various companies before settling on the insurance business. He established an independent insurance company in 1982, and, a year later, began a similar business in Meriden using Nationwide Insurance. He ran this program till 1996.
Over the years, Kerry had coped with the stresses of life by drinking, not unlike much of the rest of America. But by 1996, this problem got so intense that he entered Lebanon Pines' six-month program. He emerged from the program in early 1997, working first for Bee Automotive in Middletown, then later as a Resident Assistant at the Rushford Center in Middletown.
Kerry and Bernie had divorced in 1992. While working as an assistant for Bee Automotive, Kerry met Doris Sherrow, a fellow divorcee from Portland, and the two became a couple in early 1997.
Kerry began to pursue a Master's Degree in Counseling, serving as an intern at Rushford Center in Middletown and at Lebanon Pines' program. He eventually became a counselor at Lebanon Pines, then later at Catholic Family Services in New Britain. In 2006, he joined the staff at Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown, retiring in 2011 after having served many clients.
Kerry got a lot of pleasure from playing golf in the last twenty years. In fact, in a list of subjects to be written about, which he "never got around to," he wrote "Golf and sobriety—more similarity than what meets the eye."
Another of Kerry's interests was Barbershop singing – he had a strong, elegant bass singing voice. He appeared in many barbershop shows during this period.
He also developed a love of, and a fury for, kayaking – testing his mettle on the various and sundry rivers in the area. Shortly before his death, he had – not one, not two, but five kayaks – at his house.
This past year, medical situations descended on Kerry, ending with pulmonary fibrosis, the disease that had taken his Uncle Glen Hunt a decade before. He died around 10:15 PM on November 24, 2018.
Kerry is survived by his wife Doris Sherrow Heidenis, and his sons and their families – Brent and Leigh Heidenis and their children Brooke and Braden, and Dean Heidenis and his sons Gabe and Jude. He also leaves his step-children, Sam Sherrow and Athena Wang of Denver, CO, Sarah Sherrow of Somerville, MA, and Esther Sherrow and Rich Wilson, and their children, Oscar, Maxine and Elroy Wilson of Paris, France.
Also surviving him are his brother and sister-in-law Kent and Barbara Heidenis, niece Sarah Heidenis, and nephew Chad Heidenis and his wife Ana, and grand-niece Winter Heidenis. Kerry – "Poppy" to his grandchildren – will be fondly remembered by a host of friends and relatives. He kept the family gatherings lively with humor and insight. And his cat Missy misses him – intensely.
The funeral will be held on Thursday, November 29th at 10 a.m. in the Portland Memorial Funeral Home, 231 Main St., Portland. Pastor Jane Hawkins will bbe officiating. Burial will be in Center Cemetery, Portland. Friends may call at the funeral home Wednesday, November 28th from 5 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Dravet Syndrome Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 3026, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034.
Middletown Press - Nov. 27, 2018