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Kerrigan's father remembered as family man; son still held as suspect in death

Photo by Elise Amendola

Photo by Elise Amendola

STONEHAM, Mass. -- The father of figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was remembered by family and friends at a funeral Thursday as a family man who went out of his way for his three children and as a key to his daughter's accomplishments.

More than 100 people attended a private service at St. Patrick Church in Stoneham. Friends and family paid tribute through somber readings and praise, and Jim Day, a family friend, eulogized Kerrigan by saying he set an example to his children and always put his family first.

"When God made Danny, I wish he never threw away the mold," Day said. "If we had more people like Danny Kerrigan in the world, there would be peace and love everywhere."

Day also pleaded with attendees to pray for Kerrigan's son, Mark.

Daniel Kerrigan died over the weekend following a violent struggle with Mark Kerrigan. The 45-year-old Mark Kerrigan has pleaded not guilty to assault and authorities are awaiting tests on the cause of his father's death.

Family members said the death was unrelated to their argument early Sunday. Daniel Kerrigan's wife, Brenda Kerrigan, told the Boston Herald newspaper her husband died of a heart attack and there was nothing suspicious about his death.

Nancy Kerrigan did not speak during the funeral Mass. She buried her face on her mother's shoulder and appeared to weep as her father's flag-draped casket was carried into the church.

In a statement, the former Olympian called her father "my support." He is the person who rushed to her and carried her into a locker room after an assailant clubbed her right knee during practice at the U.S. Championships in 1994.

"He was there behind me always," she said in the statement.

Mark Kerrigan, who has a history of domestic violence arrests and was sued by his parents to recover money they spent for taking care of his home while he was in jail, is being held on $10,000 bail.

Paul Wylie, a 1992 Olympic silver medalist and a close friend of Nancy Kerrigan, attended the funeral.