John Kearney Obituary

John Walter Kearney
John Walter Kearney

August 31, 1924 - August 10, 2014
Born in Omaha, Nebraska
Resided in Chicago, IL



John Walter Kearney, 89, sculptor and artist, family man, Fulbright Scholar, garrulous raconteur, WW II Navy veteran, and irreplaceable human, passed away surrounded by his loved ones, August 10, 2014.

His works are in many major museums, collections and public spaces. He was the cofounder of Chicago's Contemporary Art Workshop, an early and important center for emerging artists which endured for 60 years.

Husband of 63 years to Marilyn "Lynn" Kearney (nee Haigh), whom he proposed to on their first date; father of Daniel (Judith Erickson) and Jill Kearney (Stephen) McDonnell; grandfather of Samantha and Emma Kearney and Nora, Kearney, and Flannery McDonnell. Brother-in-law of Olga and the late Richard Haigh, uncle to Scott and Melissa Haigh and Tamara Lanza.

Friend to countless, with a special nod of gratitude to his caregiver Denise Goch, and long time assistant John Keith, both now honorary Kearneys.

Irish wake/celebration of his life will take place Sunday Oct 19th, 1 PM, Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark Street.

Please email if you would like to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, 223 W. Jackson Blvd, Chicago, Illinois, 60606.

Arrangements by Cremation Society of Illinois, 773-281-5058 or

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Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL USA 60614
Sunday, October 19, 2014
1:00 PM