George Thomas Kerry
November 6, 1937 – April 4, 2021
George Thomas Kerry, age 83 of Woodland Park, Colorado passed away on Sunday, April 4, 2021 at 3:25 AM. He passed peacefully in his sleep at the Sunrise of Carroll Assisted Living facility in Westminster, MD. He was surrounded by his family the day before and was contacted by his brother, Bill Kerry, virtually on Saturday as well. Tom (as he liked to be called), was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 6, 1937 to parents George Rice Kerry and Alice Christine “Schouman” Kerry. Tom graduated from Lyons Township High School, La Grange, Illinois in 1955. He attended Kalamazoo College in 1956. Tom graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. Tom and his brother Bill were wild in their youth. From climbing balconies playing “cowboys and Indians,” rescuing the damsel in distress (sister Marylin Kirkpatrick) to hunting jack rabbits in New Mexico and shooting himself in the foot with his own 22 revolver while drawing on a rabbit. Later the next year, Bill was shot in the rear by accident when his friend bore down on a rabbit while hunting with Tom and Bill. The funny part is the same police officer was at the hospital to file the report on both brothers. Bill that year and Tom the year before. As Tom tried to slink out of the hospital room, the officer recognized them and suggested they not go hunting rabbits anymore! Tom joined the United States Air Force serving as a communications officer where he worked as an OPSEC Analyst from 1967-1970 at the Strategic Air Command Headquarters, NE. He was the Chief of the Communications Section supporting the Strategic Reconnaissance Center. Due to a communications background, Tom became the first SAC OPSEC Officer. He worked with PACOM in identifying and correcting vulnerabilities associated with SAC air operations in Vietnam. Tom went from active duty to reserve duty in 1970 after his son, Steven Thomas Kerry was born. He joined the National Security Agency where he worked from 1971 – 1992. Tom held various roles during this tenure all relating to OPSEC operations. Tom developed all the OPSEC planning and cover designed to protect the secrecy of the program. He worked with all levels of government to detect vulnerabilities, support combat operations and helped with planning the continuity of government. He retired in 1992 with 30 years of service for this country and was recognized within the government as one of the nation’s leading experts in operation security. Because of his OPSEC vulnerability assessment activities, Tom had an extensive background in the conduct of military operations, weapon system testing, hostile intelligence service operations, communications vulnerabilities, nuclear survivability programs, and sensitive SIGNIT collection programs. Tom joined Aegis Research Corporation as a consultant in 1993 and worked as a contractor until about 2005 in Colorado. Mr. Kerry was immensely proud of the work he did for the government but never let anyone outside of the government know exactly what he did. Professional to the end! He was loved by everyone that worked for him. Many said he was the best boss they had ever had in their career. But most importantly, it was his family that he cared about most. His oldest son Steven was born in 1970 to Tom and Dorine Alice “Van Houten” Kerry. His next son Robert came in 1973. From there they moved to Hawaii to live until 1977. He was divorced in 1977 and later remarried to Virginia Lee “Buckingham” Kerry and bore Jeffrey in 1989. Tom lived in Lisbon, MD from 1982 to 1999 with his family. He and Ginna had horses on 6 acres of land and were avid riders. Tom loved animals of all kinds. He had several dogs, cats and horses. There he saw his sons graduate from Glenelg High School and go off to college. He continued to raise Jeff there. In 1999 Tom, Ginna and Jeff moved to Woodland Park, CO to live in the mountains with a beautiful view of Pikes Peak. This was his favorite place to live. When he first moved in, the SWAT team, fully armed, came through his property and repelled down the mountain in his back yard to capture some of the “Texas Seven” who were very dangerous criminals that escaped from a maximum security prison in Texas. They were hiding out in a trailer park at the bottom of the hill. Nice welcome to the neighborhood! Yet they stayed. Besides members of SWAT, he would often have black bear, bobcat, fox, elk, skunks, and mule deer passing through his yard. It sometimes reminded you of a Disney movie. He was often surrounded by deer as he fed them during the winter. At one point he had up to 30 deer in his yard. All generations. The oldest he called “Grandpa” would come up to him while he was pouring the feed and envelope him in his antlers with no more injury that a slightly torn coat. Later in 2020 when Tom was living at the Aspen Assisted Living 2 miles away, that same deer made his way to Tom’s room and laid outside his window for a few hours. You can definitely say they loved him as much as he loved them! While in Colorado, Tom made many trips to Canada, California, Arizona, Wyoming, New Mexico and other surrounding western states. His favorite vacation was his trip to Alaska with longtime friend Dave Turley. It was during these trips that Tom took up photography. He was a natural photographer. He took many pictures of the mountains and wildlife. His pictures were so good he printed them on canvas and metal. Many were sold or donated to the local hospital where they hung on the walls. Dave and Tom would often attend breakfast at the Hungry Bear, a local restaurant. They were there so often that Tom donated some of his bear pictures that hang on the walls of the Hungry Bear to this day. While in Colorado, he was involved with the American Legion Post 1980 where he organized several veteran’s day celebrations. He was also involved with Mountain View United Methodist Church. He always sat up front and enjoyed the choir and music. He often ushered services until it got too hard to get there. The congregation loved him and his pictures. He was an avid walker and would walk with his dog, Boo, for 4 or more miles a day in the National Forest near him. When Boo passed in October 2019, he started to decline. He eventually moved to the Aspen Assisted Living. The staff there loved him. He had a great sense of humor and loved the ladies. They were sad to see him go when he was brought back to Maryland to be closer to his family. From there he stayed at Sunrise of Carroll in Westminster, MD. For the short time he was there, he touched the hearts of everyone that worked with him. Including the executive director. Tom touched the hearts of everyone he met. It was that personality that awarded him several lifelong friends like Carl Warner, Greg Howe, Sam Fisher, Nick Sommese, Dick O’Leary and many others that kept in contact with him for the rest of his life. He would often return East to play golf in Williamsburg with his buddies. Tom is survived by his sons, Steven Thomas Kerry (51), Robert Allen Kerry (47) and Jeffrey Michael Kerry (31). He is also survived by his brother William S Kerry and sister Marylin Kirkpatrick. He leaves behind 4 grandchildren Talon Kerry (22), Caroline Kerry (17), Leanna Kerry (2) and soon to be, James Thomas Kerry. He will be missed! May he be at peace.
A memorial service will be celebrated on Saturday, June 5, 2021 at Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church, 1657 Crofton Parkway, Crofton, MD 21114 from 11am to 3pm. Details: Food and drinks will be provided. NO ALCOHOL.
This will be outside but the fellowship hall will be available for bathrooms and kitchen.
There will be a small service and military honor guard.
Please wear masks and practice social distancing along with any other covid recommendations.
Please R.S.V.P. by May 25th to Tkerryphoto62@gmail.com
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Prince of Peace Presbyterian ChurchDetails: Food and drinks will be provided. NO ALCOHOL. This will be outside but the fellowship hall will be available for bathrooms and kitchen. There will be a small service and military honor guard. Please wear masks and practice social distancing along with any other covid recommendations. Please R.S.V.P. by May 25th to Tkerryphoto62@gmail.com <br>
George Thomas Kerry
April 16, 2021
I was sad to discover today that Tom had died. I worked with Tom for many years, from the first time I met him I liked him. Tom was a wonderful, kind, gentleman eager to help young employees like I was when we first met. He was always professional, caring, friendly, had a big heart, and was a genuinely wonderful colleague and friend. We were all blessed and lucky to have had Tom in our lives. God bless Tom, his children, and the rest of his extended family.
April 10, 2021
I knew Tom at Mountain View UMC in Woodland Park, C0.
He would frequently bring in his enlarged nature photos that he had taken, which were totally amazing.
We all admired them greatly, and am so glad they are still posted here at the Hungry Bear.
I am also a pet sitter, and had many clients on his road, so would frequently meet him while he was walking his dog, and we would stop and chat for awhile. He was a very sweet, and gentle man, who really showed love for all people and animals. He will be greatly missed by many!
April 8, 2021
What can I say that others here have not said?
Tom and I first crossed paths in 1976 when I worked with S15 on various projects. We maintained that professional contact for years. When NSA was named the lead agency for Operations Security, Tom and I massaged the system so I could go to work for him in D2, the NSA OPSEC element. My cubicle buddy was Dick O'Leary and we both chuckled when Tom would visit us and be practically jumping up and down over some event that mentioned the success or failure of practicing OPSEC. After retirement, Tom and I worked for the same company, Aegis Research Corporation. I had the honor of nominating Tom for the very first Robert "Sam" Fischer Award, given to a person who has made major contributions to OPSEC.
I later visited him in Colorado and enjoyed his company in Gettysburg and Williamsburg on the pretense of golfing.
Tom Kerry is one of the finest men I have ever met, pleasant to everyone he knew, dedicated to his profession, and very generous. His confidence in me as a professional partner was overwhelming and I tried to never disappoint him. He was very loving to his family; they have every reason to be proud of him and will miss him, as we all do.
April 7, 2021
Tom was a patriot and a friend…he will be missed by all who knew him. His accomplishments at NSA will remain hidden to all but the fortunate few who were privileged to work with and for him. But, suffice to say, that we all are a little bit safer today because of Tom Kerry’s professionalism.
April 7, 2021
For me, Tom was first a friend, then my leader, even though we met each other in the reverse order of that. And then Tom was my mentor, teacher, and coach. And then he was instrumental (over the three times objection of the company owner) in my acquiring a second career doing what he had taught me late in my first career. And then we began to play golf with the annual, retired, hackers story tellers and tall tales club. He kept telling me he was a hacker as we rode together in the cart, even though he was beating my socks off. You see he was just a pain in the golf cart.
Tom was one of the best men I have ever met.
April 7, 2021
I love reading all of these tributes to Uncle Tom. So many memories of family cookouts, Easter dinners, Christmas Eve get togethers...too many memories to share them all, but he was always full of love and laughter when we were all together. I am very thankful for our time together as a family. Love to you all!
April 7, 2021
Tom was a great friend & mentor to me from an OPSEC standpoint. I always remembered all of the times that I was able to work with him and the professional way that he provided the much needed guidance that was required by the project. A true gentlemen throughout the years that I knew him and may he rest in peace.
April 7, 2021
Tom's kind heart and jovial spirit are greatly missed... I am very saddened by his passing. He sure loved a good laugh and spread it throughout the place. I'm grateful for the moments I was blessed to be able to spend with him, while taking care of him at The Aspen. Love and blessings to the family... Y'all are in my prayers. ~ Joyce
April 6, 2021
As Tom's nurse at The Aspen, I never saw Tom without a smile. He was a sweet, gentle man. We shared many laughs over misplaced glasses, putting on Ted hose and taking his vital signs every morning. He would always ask me if he " was a quart low!" I will miss him and treasure the time I was privileged to spend with him. Rest peacefully, my friend...Joanie
Becky and John Carmichael
April 6, 2021
Our deepest sympathy to Steve and Susie and Leanna and to Rob and Jeff. Your Dad is at peace with no more pain or worries. He is resting in the gentle arms of the Lord. Love you all..
April 6, 2021
I will always remember him with a big smile on his face in his green sweater. He was always smiling and he gave great hugs. His love of the outdoors and his beautiful pictures will always be in my mind.
April 6, 2021
I remember Tom always sat at the opposite end of my pew during church service. He would sign the attendance book and pass it to me with a smile 😊
April 6, 2021
I was Tom's pastor at Mountain View UMC. Tom was such a fine man. He sat near my wife in church and always had a smile on his face as I was preaching. I loved to visit him in his home. He always made me feel so welcome and our shared military experience gave us plenty to talk about. He will be missed!
April 6, 2021
My Mom is a resident at The Aspen in Woodland Park and was privileged to come to know him there. She is blind, and therefore sad that she couldn't see the many golf trophies that folks said were decorating his room. Golf is a love of hers too and had related to me many times that Tom was a fine and avid golfer and a wonderful gentleman to come to know. She misses him at the dining table and was so sad that he had to move, but glad he was close to his boys when it was time to say good-bye.
April 6, 2021
Dad was a man who loved his family and loved his friends. He was a huge dog person too, though I remember he didn't originally want me to get my first dog but oh how he changed after we got her. He always looked out for me and my brothers, he took pride in our accomplishments, and he supported us no matter what. He had close friendships too with so many people. Some from work others he met in church or through others. When he made a friend they were lasting friendships no matter where they moved to or whatever, they stayed close. He would go on golfing trips with many of his friends quite often and he loved to golf even when it started killing his back and shoulder he wouldn't quit. He loved going out to eat with friends too to places he loved like the Hungry Bear in Woodland Park, Colorado where the waitresses knew his order by heart. He has so many friends you can't name them all in a single message and that shows how much he was loved by so many. From his family to his friends, Dad was loved by many and he loved them back. I will miss his love, his wisdom, his support. I know that I could never have become the person I am today without any of that. My Dad shaped me to be a better person, he shaped so many around him and his loss will leave a hole in the hearts of us all. I love you Dad, I always will and one day I will see you again and I know I will feel that love again the love you shared with everyone you knew.
April 6, 2021
My dad taught me so much. Never spanked me, barely raised his voice to me but we knew when we were in trouble. He was humble, loving, funny, caring and my hero.
He gave me the job of taking care of him when he couldn't. Some people might see this as a burden. I saw it as an honor. I honored his wishes to stay in Woodland Park, CO as long as possible. When that became too difficult, I and Becky Whipple drove him cross country to bring him back to Maryland to be near family. The first night on the road he told me "you came. Thank God you came." He was ready to be with family.
When we got to my house I tried to bring him to our downstairs door located on a hill. It had rained that morning and we ended up getting the van stuck. Everytime we tried to fix it, the van got farther down the hill. In the end, Becky and I strapped him to the wheel chair and pulled him up the hill from the van. He laughed the whole time. We had a nice couple days with family before he moved into Sunrise just up the street from me. It was a joy to see his face when he met Leanna for the first time. She was instantly his little buddy. My oldest daughter, Caroline, also got to visit as well. Dad really enjoyed that.
He kept his sense of humor to the end. He was the most caring, loving, honorable man I know and I hope to be just half the man he was.
I love you dad!
April 6, 2021
My Dad loved to take photos and to travel. I went on many trips with him to beautiful places that I will never forget. From Hawaii to Yellowstone in Wyoming and even Canada, these trips were memories I will cherish forever. I remember the Yellowstone trip so much. We drove from Colorado towing our airstream camper behind us to a camp ground in the Grand Tetons national park. My best friend Dan came with us which was really fun. We got to see so much of the park and my Dad took so many photos of which two I have hanging on my wall. It was a beautiful park but somehow my Dad made it more beautiful with his photos. He always knew how to frame them perfectly and capture the image in such a way that it looked not only professional but almost unreal. He has so many photos that just capture pieces of this country and beyond in ways that are impossible to imagine. He was truly a gifted photographer and his pictures will live on with so many people. The beauty he captured will last forever. My Dad gave me memories on those trips that will never fade and pictures to remind me of them forever. I will always appreciate all he did for me and all the trips he took me on to see so much beauty and greatness in this country. Thank you Dad.
April 6, 2021
I met Tom while working at The Aspen, and boy was he a hoot! His smile would melt my heart. He called all the ladies his angels, and was always so sweet. I would take my work in his room and share meals with him from time to time. I got him a putting green for his room, so he could improve my short game. He told me I just needed to practice and I could be dangerous on the greens. As time went on I did try to better connect him to his boys on the East coast. Zoom on my cell phone was always interesting, technology is always funny with his generation. When I left The Aspen, I still went in and assisted Tom and visited with him. Then I accompanied his son Steven to getting him back to Maryland. We broke him out, as he was saying, and took a road trip halfway across the US! Seeing Tom closer to his family was the best thing ever! My best memories are him thinking I was his daughter (adopted maybe) his big kind smile, and seeing him with his little granddaughter. Tom was a charming and beautiful soul! I feel honored to have known him and reunite him and his boys, I will miss him greatly! Love ya Tom, my best guy!
April 6, 2021
My Dad was the perfect Dad for me. No matter what happened in my life whether good or bad he stood by me and supported me. He was like this with me and my brothers. He had unconditional love for us and stood by us during the toughest times and the best of times. He always would go out of his way to make us happy. I remember he used to play these board games I would create based on the video games I loved to play. He would sit at the dinning room table and let me act out the animations and the story as if I was the TV screen and then he'd roll dice, choose things off of paper, and keep track of numbers as if he was the player playing the game. It was something that I'm sure he didn't truly want to do but he did it for me because I loved to do it. He went out of his way so many times to make us all happy and I will miss that so much. He believed in me and my brothers and that belief is why we are all doing so well today. Thanks Dad, you will be missed so much.
April 6, 2021
Although Dad was known by family to posses super powers, such as watching the News with his eyes closed, he was a humble, loving man. Another power he had was the power to change appearance at will as noted by a friend I worked with at Pizza Hut. He said every time my dad came in to the store, he looked like someone else. I believe for those reasons, he was picked to work for the CIA. He told us he worked for NSA (one thing he needed to work on was lying), and that he named me after Sam Fisher, his “friend”. After I came of age and played Splinter Cell (the spy game about a man named Sam Fisher who worked for the CIA), I think it was then that I knew who he really worked for. He could also resist the power of the sun by not wearing sunscreen when he mowed the lawn for three hours as it beat down on him and made him glow red. I guess that was the radiation from which his powers emanated from.
I have become my dad and have gained his abilities after becoming a dad of my own. I can now watch TV and attend meetings with my eyes closed. Not to mention, drive a car from Colorado to Oklahoma with my eyes closed. I also have the ability to change appearance, as every ID I own has a different picture and was asked by an airman taking my picture for one, if I worked for the CIA.
I loved that man and always hoped I could be as good a man and father as he was. He taught us much as children and later as adults. He will be missed, always, and in our hearts and memories until one day we can see him again.
Love you dad!