Jack Kirrane was inducted in 1995 to the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame.
This article was posted and written by Wicked Local Brookline.
Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer John J. “Jack” Kirrane Jr. of Brookline passed away yesterday. He was 88 years old.
The lifelong Brookline resident spent much of his childhood skating on the Anderson estate’s ponds and later he raised his family in town.
Kirrane won a gold medal as a member and captain of the first U.S. Men's Ice Hockey "Miracle" Team at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, Calif., according to his obituary. In addition to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Kirrane was part of the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame. Kirrane was a veteran of the Korea War, and was former Brookline firefighter, according to his obituary.
In 2010, Brookline honored the hockey legend by renaming the rink at Larz Anderson Park after him. (The pool formerly known as “The Tank” to locals, was renamed after his sister Evelyn).
Kirrane was the youngest member of the 1948 squad, before he was named captain of the 1960 Squaw Valley team. The 31-year-old defenseman schooled his mostly college-aged teammates on the finer points of international hockey. Kirrane provided coach Jack Riley a blue-line presence that backboned the United States to monumental upsets over Canada, Russia and Czechoslovakia, the TAB sports writer said of him.
In the old black-and-white footage, Kirrane can be seen patrolling the front of his net with a stone-faced expression that only slightly changed when his team scored.
Some described Kirrane, a Korean War veteran as having a John Wayne persona. When he scored, he’d tap his stick and head back to work, reported the TAB in 2010.
Kirrane’s wife Patricia A. (Rose) Kirrane preceded him in death. He leaves behind daughter Susan J. Fields of Brookline, John P. Kirrane and his wife Elizabeth of No. Weymouth and Kristin Greymont of Brookline, his brother William F. Kirrane and his wife Rita of Waltham, Edward T. Kirrane and his wife Ann of Dedham. He leaves behind his grandchildren Tara Kirrane Quitt and her husband Adam of Ashland, Amy Tredo and her husband Adam of Hampden, Sean Fields of Brookline and Brendan Fields and his wife Michelle of Framingham. He was also a great grandfather to Nora, Andrew, Raina, Abby and Aubrey. And he is survived by many nieces and nephews.
His funeral will be held at the Bell-O'Dea Funeral Home, 376 Washington St. slated for Thursday at 9:10 a.m. . A Funeral Mass in St. Lawrence Church in Chestnut Hill is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Visiting hours in the funeral home will be held Wednesday from 4-8 p.m.. He will be interned at St. Joseph Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family is asking donations in Jack's name be made to the Alzheimer's Assoc. of Eastern Mass., 480 Pleasant St., Watertown, MA. 02472 or www.alz.org