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Erin O. (O'Leary) Kinahan, age 49, died on Wednesday, January 17, 2024, at her home in Wrentham, Massachusetts. She was surrounded by her loving family. Born in Boston, Massachusetts on March 20, 1974, she was the daughter of John Laurence and Margaret Mary (Noonan) O'Leary. Erin was raised in Wakefield, Massachusetts and attended St. Joseph’s Elementary School. In 1992 she graduated from Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody. She then attended the College of Engineering at Northeastern University and graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. She completed graduate level coursework at UMass Lowell and achieved the designation of Order of Engineers.
Erin took her first job at VHB, a transportation engineering firm in Watertown, and stayed until March of 2002, when she joined the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), serving as a civil engineer in the planning office at One Park Plaza.
Erin married her beloved husband, David W. Kinahan, on June 29, 2002, at Saint Joseph's Church in Wakefield. After a honeymoon in Vancouver and Alaska, the young couple lived in Mansfield where they welcomed two sons, Sean and Aidan. In 2010, they relocated to the house they planned and built together in Wrentham.
Erin's career with MassDOT continued, working in various capacities in districts three, five, and six. In 2020, she joined the Project Development Office of district six as an Assistant Development Engineer. Six months later, Erin was promoted to Project Development Engineer and after a year, she was appointed Senior Supervising Engineer of Project Development, in which she was responsible for final engineering sign-off on projects and supported and supervised a large team of engineers. Throughout her career, Erin was actively engaged in mentoring young engineers and advocated for women entering STEM professions.
Erin’s life-long interests included automobiles, baseball and most passionately of all travel. Throughout her life she traveled to destinations both near and far. Before meeting Dave, she traveled to Europe on different occasions including Ireland, England and visiting her friend Holly Rotondi in Italy. Erin would frequently travel to Montreal to watch the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos play. She also traveled with her friends to Maine, Cape Cod and California. As a wife and mother, Erin’s travel adventures revolved around planning memorable and educational family trips. Every year Erin would devote many hours to trip plans and itineraries for the boys to be enriched by travel experiences. As a family, they visited Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, the Outer Banks, and Utah, and also enjoyed two extended trips to visit family in Ireland and several vacations in the Caribbean.
Erin was active in her community and became involved with the Wrentham Holly Club of which she served as treasurer at one time. She enjoyed her book club in Wrentham. Her social activities also included connecting with other spouses of law enforcement officers who shared their stories and developed strategies to keep their families strong.
Most of all, Erin loved being surrounded by her family. She and David were 100% partners in everything related to their family life, and their partnership was a complimentary match of their different strengths. Erin was a devoted Mom to her two sons, Sean and Aidan, assisting them to obtain a strong education, supporting them in all of their activities and celebrating all of their accomplishments. Erin prioritized helping her sons develop hobbies and activities from the PGA Junior Golf League, to Aidan’s golf lessons and then to supporting Sean undergo his rigorous training with the US Naval Sea Cadet Corps, and Aidan’s competitions with Destination Imagination (DI), Erin was so proud to be able to support her children’s Catholic Education at Bishop Feehan High School, a sister school to Bishop Fenwick which she attended. She was always there to cheer the boys at their sports events including lacrosse, football, and golf.
No story of Erin’s life would be complete without mentioning her passion for pugs. Erin loved all matter of pug curios from calendars to Christmas tree ornaments. She even had many items of pug home décor and clothing. Erin called herself a pug mom and at the end of a busy day she loved to enjoy some relaxing time playing with her fawn and black pugs.
Erin’s life was cut short by the discovery of stomach cancer in March 2023. Her strength of will and fierce desire to fight led her to become involved with Debbie’s Dream Foundation, where she learned all about her cancer. Her friends from the group helped Erin with mentorship phone-calls and hospital visits. Erin was registered to go to Congress on February 6th to help lobby for more medical training, prevention awareness and research funding for stomach cancer. Erin showed much courage and a fierce will to live by getting involved with DDF and never wavered in her fight to live even until the very end.
Erin was the beloved wife of David W. Kinahan and loving mother of Sean J. Kinahan and Aidan M. Kinahan, both of Wrentham. Faithful daughter of John Laurence and Margaret Mary (Noonan) O'Leary of Wakefield and cherished sister to Mark T. O'Leary and Sarah E. O'Leary and her husband, Paul T. O'Neill, all of Melrose. She leaves behind her wonderful and supportive family-in-law, James J. Kinahan and his wife, Kathleen, of Mansfield, Ruth M. Patterson and her husband, Leighton, of Walpole, Paul F. Kinahan and his wife, Debbie, of Mesquite, Nevada, Francis J. Kinahan of Foxborough, Robert G. Kinahan of North Attleborough, John T. Kinahan and his wife, Stephanie, of Plainville. Erin is also survived by many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. She also leaves behind her beloved pugs Belle and Hugo (who in his loyalty never left her side). She was predeceased by her pugs Chloe and Henry.
Erin's family wishes to acknowledge Erin’s many close and special friends, whether local, across the country, or living abroad whose outpouring of love, support, help and prayers over the last few months is appreciated beyond measure.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Erin's Life Celebration on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024, from 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Saint Mary's Church, 130 South Street (Route 1A), Wrentham on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, at 10:30 AM. Interment will follow at Knollwood Memorial Park in Canton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Erin's name may be made to the stomach cancer support organization Debbie's Dream Foundation, P.O. Box 9867, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33310 or by visiting www.DebbiesDream.org.