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Helen Kiernan Conaghan
Viewing: April 29, 2019 (Monday) from 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Service: April 29, 2019 (Monday) at 11:00 a.m.
Location: Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church



 On Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, Helen Kiernan Conaghan, of Potomac, Maryland, entered the gates of heaven.  Helen Conaghan was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend to many.

Helen was a Rhode Island girl at heart.  Daughter of Francis J. “Red” Kiernan, former Rhode Island State Senator from North Providence and Minority Whip, and Helen Gannon Kiernan of Cranston, Rhode Island.  Helen had one sibling, Betty Ann Kenyon, whom she adored and idolized. The family moved to Washington, D.C. when she was 14, but Helen never lost her Rhode Island accent.

Mrs. Conaghan graduated from Holy Cross High School, Dunbarton College and Rhode Island College of Education.  She taught the third grade for several years.

Helen was an avid and highly skilled bridge player and took great joy in winning.  She played in American Contract Bridge League tournaments and accumulated many master points.  In her later years, when she lived in Florida, she qualified as a duplicate director and was hired by Carnival Cruise lines to teach bridge to the guests and direct duplicate bridge tournaments on board the ship.  Her husband always enjoyed tagging along on the cruises.  When she moved back to the D.C. area, she continued as a bridge instructor for Montgomery County.  Having been raised in a political home, she also enjoyed vigorous debates on the issues of the day.  Tennis was Helen’s favorite sport, and she loved playing doubles with her husband.

She was preceded in death, by 8 months, by her beloved husband, John B. (“Jack”) Conaghan to whom she was married for almost 60 years.  She is survived by their four children, John Conaghan (Mary), Mary Donatelli (Doug), Joe Conaghan (Linda), and Tom Conaghan (Stephanie).  Helen was also blessed with 13 grandchildren - Helen Conaghan Renninger (Chris), William Conaghan, Matthew Conaghan, DJ Donatelli, Maggie Donatelli, Bo Conaghan, Annie Donatelli, Lillian Conaghan, Chloe Conaghan, Johnny Donatelli, Caroline Conaghan, Christine Conaghan, and Caileigh Conaghan.

Visitation at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Potomac, Maryland from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., on Monday, April 29, 2019, followed by the celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Interment private. 

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DeVol Funeral Home