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Old Town - Gerald "Jerry" McMorrow Herlihy, 82, passed away at his home on April 5, 2019 surrounded by family after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born June 2, 1936, in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, the son of Mary (McMorrow) and Horace Herlihy. Jerry attended Nashua High School, graduating in 1954. He then went on to the University of Vermont through a football scholarship until August of 1955, when he volunteered for the draft and served for two years in the US Army. Upon completion of his service, he returned to UVM to finish his degree. He then earned a graduate degree from Long Island University.
Upon graduation Jerry worked in New York teaching at Commack High School and then Roosevelt High School. He and his family came to Maine in 1966 to work at the Hyde School in Bath. At Hyde, Jerry coached many sports, including track, soccer, football and skiing. In 1970, he moved to Orono to start the Onward Program at the University of Maine. While at the University, Jerry spent his professional career helping students achieve their dreams of obtaining a college degree.
Jerry retired at the age of 62 to spend time with his family, becoming a stay at home dad. During retirement, Jerry spent his days traveling with his family and enjoying his favorite game of golf. He was a long time member of Penobscot Valley Country Club. Jerry was actively involved in the local Democratic Party, as well as being on the City of Old Town school board. He was an avid gardener and spent many days working outdoors with his dog, Baxter. He was an avid hiker, completing many treks to the peak of Mount Katahdin with students and family; he also enjoyed canoeing.
Jerry cared for others and would always lend a hand when people were in need, and he would be their strongest supporter. He could frequently be spotted at the local Hannaford where he developed friendships with many of the employees.
Jerry is survived by his wife of 40 years, Dr. Betty McCue-Herlihy, his four children: Jim Herlihy and his wife Courtney of New Jersey, Jean Herlihy of Brunswick, Gerald Carreiro and his husband Cole of Connecticut, and T.J. Herlihy and his wife Emily of Orono; and his 8 grandchildren: Summer, Ryan, Jenna, Kate, Derek, Jesse, Kiernan and Camden. He is also survived by his brothers Horace Herlihy of Guam and T.J. Herlihy of New Hampshire. He was predeceased by his sister Mary Joyce and his parents Horace and Mary Herlihy. He is remembered fondly by countless friends and extended relatives. A special thanks to his caregiver and friend, Brenda Davis of Old Town for taking such good care of him. A special thank you as well to Beacon Hospice.
Visiting hours will be at Birmingham Funeral Home 438 Main St Old Town, Friday, April 12th from 5-8pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10am, Saturday April 13th, 2019, at the Parish of the Resurrection of the Lord in Old Town. Burial will follow at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Bangor. The family invites family and friends to share memories, conversation and refreshments at Penobscot Valley Country Club in Orono after the funeral.
Published on April 7, 2019
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29 posts

Jud and Diane
Apr 15, 2019
Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family
Rodney L. Hanscom
Apr 14, 2019
Betty and TJ: I have many fond memories of rounds at PVCC, and particularly Thursday evening Scotch Foursomes "back in the day" with Jerry, Betty, and my recently departed and much-loved Judy. Our families shared a tough winter, now with the promise of spring, we face a time of shared grief. May your memories of this most gentle of men bring some measure of comfort.
Tracey OConnell
Apr 13, 2019
Betty and loved ones. I am so sorry for your loss. deepest sympathy.
Rachel Smart
Apr 13, 2019
So sorry to hear this, Dr. Betty & family. Though I didn't know Jerry very well, I know my Grandfather Mike always thought very highly of him, & of course you, and your boys! Nana Loretta sends her condolences and prayers, as do my Mother & I. ❤
Joyce and Don Henckler
Apr 10, 2019
Jerry’s work at UMaine helped many people to realize their highest goals. He will be missed for his advocacy and great zeal for higher education.
Susan Russell
Apr 10, 2019
I was saddened to hear of Jerry's death. My memory of him is of his engaging smile and friendliness and his exuberance for life. Blessings and love to you, Betty, and all the family. Susan
Jessica Johnston
Apr 10, 2019
TJ, I'm sorry to hear about the passing of your father. My sympathy to you and your family.
Liz Downing
Apr 10, 2019
Farewell to a life well lived, thank you Gerry for all you did for the students at UMaine!
Much love, Liz Downing and the UMaine Admissions Office
Carl Faulstick
Apr 09, 2019
My sincere condolences to you, Betty and to your family for your loss. There isn't enough space to describe the difference Jerry's Onward Program has made in my life. I'll always remember Jerry's hearty laughter, as well as his impassioned missives in defense of the less advantaged. The world needs more Jerry Herlihys.
Tammy Light
Apr 09, 2019
Betty, I’m so sorry for your loss, you guys were a good team.. Jerry was an educator, administrator and did it with grace and humor. He will leave his mark on you or the kids but it will be with everyone who will move through life in the way he would expect them to do. The loss for you will weigh heavily and, there will be moments of sadness and despair and many of laughs when you remember the good times you’ve shared. God bless you, Love, Tammy
June Paul
Apr 09, 2019
Jerry was such a sweet person. Walked by my house daily with Baxter, his dog. Always had a smile on his face and positive words. RIP My condolences to the family.
Steve Visco
Apr 08, 2019
My condolences to Dr. Betty and the rest of the Hurlihy family. I always enjoyed my golf run ins with Jerry at Penobscot Valley, as well as seeing him over the years at various MEEOA and NEOA events.
Jack Gardner
Apr 08, 2019
My condolences to the Herlihy family. Jerry was a wonderful man with great compassion and empathy for others. Our prayers are with you.
Roxanne Sinclair
Apr 08, 2019
The world has lost a very special man. So very sorry for your loss.
Maura Macdonald
Apr 08, 2019
My thoughts and prayers go out to Jerry’s loved ones. Jerry was a remarkable human being who continuously and effortlessly encouraged people to chase their dreams and provided the tools necessary to make it happen. I have so many happy memories of Jerry at UMaine functions, not only from when I was a student, but also as a
child when my Dad was a UMO student. May you find peace and comfort in knowing that Jerry is no longer suffering. ❤️
Raymond Cota
Apr 08, 2019
My sympathy to Betty and family. Jerry was a friend and frequent golf partner when we lived in Maine. Always upbeat. I always knew that a day with Jerry would be one of intelligent conversation (on his part, anyway) and plenty of laughs. He is in a place free of the ravages of his illness t and that should be of some comfort to his family.
Esrher Anne
Apr 08, 2019
So sorry for the loss of such a kind, wonderful man. My heart goes out to you, Betty, may you find comfort in the countless people whose lives have been enriched by your dear husband. Thank you for sharing him with the world, he made such a difference.
Brian Howe
Apr 07, 2019
Fondly remember his constant smile at PVCC.
John and Sheila Lee Family
Apr 07, 2019
Please know that our hearts are filled with love and prayers as you go through this difficult time. May God bless all of you and fill your hearts with love and many beautiful memories your family shared over the years...♥️♥️
May God Bless You
And may Jim Rest In Peace 🙏
Tammy, Chandler, Sebastian Boyington
Apr 07, 2019
Betty, TJ, Gerald our hearts go out to you. Jerry was a wonderful man. He had our utmost respect. We are so very sorry for your loss. I will miss running into him at Hannaford's. He was always such a bright beacon of light. Sincerely, Tammy, Chandler, and Sebastian
Debbie (Cottrell) Katz
Apr 07, 2019
I'm so sorry to hear of Jerry's passing. My prayers go out to his family and all those who knew and loved him. He had a big heart and a huge impact on my life - I would not be the person I am today if not for him and the Onward program. I'll never forget the day I interviewed with Jerry and was blown away to realize that college was a real possibility for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and rest in peace, Jerry.
Rain Bowden-King
Apr 07, 2019
I remember the day I was accepted in to the Onward program. I was finally going to college. My mom was already a member of Onward. Jerry was an incredible mentor to all of us who walked through the doors of the little building on the Univ of ME campus known as The Onward Building. I remember when Jerry retired how sad we all were to see him leave our little building. Thank you Jerry for helping so many of us get the start we needed to get our college degrees. May you Rest In Peace after your long battle.
Jane Searles
Apr 07, 2019
Dear Betty,
The two of you helped so so so many of us who floundered and as a team your bond saved many. The love and support you gave to one another will never die!
Dottie and Al Sockbeson
Apr 07, 2019
My heart goes out to you and yours Betty.. Jerry was a special man with a huge and loving spirit. It was an honor to have known him. The world just lost one if it’s better people, he made the world a better place. Hugs to you all. You will be missed Jerry
Violet Smith
Apr 07, 2019
So very sorry to hear about Mr. Herlihy’s passing. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.