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Kenneth Gerard Messina, 72, of Hancock, passed peacefully from this world on to the next while surrounded by family on October 19, 2023.
Ken is survived and deeply missed by the love of his life, his wife of 46 years, Susan (Downey) Messina; and his children, Kristen Duncan and her husband Jody, and Kate Limberakis and her husband Anthony. He is forever cherished and remembered by his four grandchildren William, Emily, Evangeline, and Anthony; and his siblings and their families Christopher Messina; Susan Anne Messina; and Karen Pantina and her husband Jack, their children Michael and his wife Jen, and Jackie and their grandchildren, Lucas, James, and Evelyn.
He was predeceased by his father Jerome Messina and his mother Constance (Travis) Messina.
Ken was born on September 23, 1951, in Bronx, NY. When he was young, his family moved to Syosset, New York.
He treasured his childhood summers, which were spent in East Moriches on the eastern shore of Long Island, with his grandparents, his beloved Great Aunt Edie, and many other beloved family members.
Ken graduated from Holy Trinity High School in Hicksville, NY, in 1970. He attended Saint Francis College in Biddeford, ME, and then received his masters degree from Northeastern University in Boston. Ken’s love of people and conversation led him to a career in talent acquisition. He most notably enjoyed working for multiple tech startup companies in the 1990’s, which included Cereva Networks and Cascade Communications. After a long and rewarding career, he retired in 2020 from Thermo Fisher Scientific. Once retired, he donated his time and talents as a board member of Rivermead Retirement Community.
Ken married the love of his life, Sue (Downey) Messina, on June 4, 1977. Together they made their home in Reading and North Reading, MA, and then later in life, in Hancock, NH. Together with their two daughters they lived a beautiful life. Holidays were very special to Ken with many strong family traditions that began with him and Sue. Continuing those traditions will be one of the many ways he will continue to live on in us.
He was an extremely active presence in the lives of his grandchildren who loved him deeply. He never missed one of Will’s football games or fishing tournaments. He was a huge supporter of his granddaughter Emily’s small business endeavors. He made sure Evangeline always had music to dance to as well as an amazing audience. He loved to sing and play the harmonica with Anthony.
Ken was blessed to have two sons-in-law who were like sons to him. Together they shared many interests and an extraordinary love of family. With Jody he spent summers fly fishing and camping, autumns duck hunting, and winters into springs skiing and snowboarding. Together, Ken and Jody nurtured and cultivated a love of these passions in Will. Their adventures always included him. Ken taught and fostered an enthusiasm for shooting sporting clays in Anthony. Anthony and Ken spent many days at the shooting range talking about life and what would be their next big adventure. They both shared a deep appreciation of history and travel. These passions took them from the Gettysburg battlefield to sunshine in Florida and most recently two trips to Greece.
In addition to his family, Ken had many other passions. He was a devoted parishioner and elected member of the parish council at Divine Mercy Parish in Peterborough, NH. He was an active member of the Peterborough Sportsman Club in Peterborough, NH. A lover of books, he was always reading. He had a deep sense of admiration and respect for Theodore Roosevelt that began at a young age and continued throughout his life. He always saw himself as continuing the President’s goal of conservation. He was an active member of the Theodore Roosevelt Association and was always reading another book about his life.
His thirst for knowledge and his desire to know people made Ken who he was. He will be tremendously missed by all who loved him.
A visiting hour will be on Wednesday, October 25th, from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM at Divine Mercy Parish, 12 Church Street, Peterborough, NH, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 2:00 PM with Rev. Michael Taylor as Celebrant.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Ken’s name to: End 68 Hours of Hunger. Donations can be made by going to: www.end68hoursofhunger.org. Click on find your community, and click Conval(SAU 1). Please note in the comments that your donation is in Memory of Ken Messina. Checks can be made payable to End 68 Hours of Hunger. In the memo please note “In Memory of Ken Messina.” End 68 Hours of Hunger, Conval SAU #1, 106 Hancock Road, Peterborugh, NH, 03458.