D'Esopo East Hartford Memorial Chapel

30 Carter Street, East Hartford, CT


John "Big John" P. Kershaw

December 5, 1943January 24, 2020

John “Big John” Patrick Kershaw, 76, of East Hartford, loving husband and soulmate for 38 years to Donna (Klein) Kershaw, passed away too soon from cancer, surrounded by his family and friends on Friday, January 24, 2020. Born in Hartford on December 5, 1943, he was son of the late John P and Dorothy V (Norman) Kershaw and has lived in East Hartford his entire life. He served in the Army National Guard and retired from the Town of East Hartford after 49 years as Parts and Project Coordinator. Loving all things on wheels, he enjoyed stock car racing, built his own car and was involved in many racing circuits. In the past he enjoyed bicycling and traveling by train, but was happiest when he hit the open road with Donna. He became involved with the local music scene to support his Grandson, being dubbed the “local hardcore Grampy”.

Besides his loving wife and their 7 rescue cats, John leaves behind his daughter, Diane Fossaluzza (Kenneth);brothers, Norman Kershaw of CT and Thomas Kershaw(Shirley) of Utah; nephew, Matthew Kershaw (Emily) of Utah and his two cherished grandchildren, Linnea and Liam Fossaluzza, who were the joy of his life.

Visitation is on Saturday, February 8th from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at the D’Esopo East Hartford Memorial Chapel, 30 Carter St., East Hartford, and will conclude with a prayer service and words of remembrance with reception to follow. For online expressions of sympathy to the family, please visit www.desopoeh.com.


  • Public Visitation Saturday, February 8, 2020
  • Prayer Service Saturday, February 8, 2020


John "Big John" P. Kershaw

have a memory or condolence to add?

Michael McManus

February 3, 2020

I first met John when i was just a teenager working at Daves mobile, He was a big man with a big heart and he will be greatly missed. Rest in peace John

Rich Toce

February 2, 2020

RIP. The over 22 years I worked with you I found you very knowledgable, honest, sincere and dedicated to your job. My prayers and condolences are with with your entire family
Rich Toce

Mike & Deb Vengruskas

January 31, 2020

John was a special man. It was definitely a honor to have known him. If it wasn’t his jokes, or his knowledge of where to eat, it was his caring and helping personality. We will miss him very much! Rest In Peace John.

Marie Pardi

January 31, 2020

Dear Donna,
I will remember John as a kind man who was always ready to offer a hand to a friend, Bertucci's on Thursdays with you and him ... also his extra shoes for driving and his Kleenex and windex. I loved that about him. Danny valued his friendship up to his end.

Sincere condolences to your entire family.

Marie Pardi

Clayon Murphy

January 31, 2020

John my friend of almost 70 years. Fond memories of your Dad taking us to the races at Riverside when neither of us was old enough to drive.
Your racing career was classic as was the life you led.
Rest Well Old Friend.

Shirl Williams Guertin

January 31, 2020

Big John you lived life full of life, love & a great sense of humor. I’m so glad we had a chance to visit last Nov. I couldn’t imagine our departing hug would be our last. You said we have to do this more often (our visit) & we all agreed; so I do promise you when I’m in CT I will be visiting Aunt Donna. We soon will say our last goodbye to you; those that truly love you will hold you in our hearts & a part of our heart will be with you in heaven.

I met Uncle John when I was 16 before he & Donna were married. I can truly say that I never met anyone like him. You had a smile that could light up the room & a giggle that was contagious. He was so easy to talk with when I met him; at the time I was trying to figure out my life. He could be there when I needed someone to listen, when I looked for advice & he could always say something to cheer me up. He always had my back when I needed that too. Then there were those times that we could just enjoy each other’s company on the day to day matters. He kind of took me under his wing & took me on some private fun adventures to local places I never knew about. He was really cool like that. I was so happy when he married my Aunt Donna; I never ever saw her so happy as she was with him; basically I grew up with her so that says a lot. Their personalities melted together, they were so good for each other. John was a very strong man that Donna could rely on; she was a devoted wife bringing her own great sense of humor into their marriage. I’m sure like most married couples they must have dealt with issues but Donna could speak her own mind to him in her “special voice” (LOL); I never heard her complain or speak ill of her husband. I truly admired both of them as a couple.

Diane stated, "you went out of life as fast as you lived it", so true! I’m glad you were a big part of my life. You are so loved by many and I will truly miss you. Rest in Peace now, Uncle John; have fun in heaven until we meet again…

Pat Mullin

January 31, 2020

First met John when we both worked at Dave's service in East Hartford and liked him right away.
Then after knowing him for years worked with him at Monaco Ford.
Would always stop to tell me the joke of the day.
So many people loved John he was that type of a man.
We will always remember you John rest in peace I will miss you.

Lynn Michaud

January 30, 2020

My name is Lynn Michaud. Deepest Condolences Donna. I can't imagine what you're feeling. Such a great loss. John was such a kind quiet person. He adored my son Bruce and in c luded Bruce when he took Liam & Linnea shopping. He bought my son several pairs of shoes,clothes,guitar stuff. Being a single parent I always was so grateful for John and Donna. He even gave my son a phone and paid for his line for several years. They just don't make them like John anymore. His good energy and all that kindness shall be missed RIP John.

chuck & beverly grime

January 30, 2020

we are so very sorry for your loss, sure are going to miss his laugh,,and his phone calls,,,,RIP BIG JOHN we are so sorry that we can not attend the services.---------illness

Denny Zimmerman

January 30, 2020

Very sad news. R.I.P. John