Winter 2016 / Spring 2017


Professor Charles P. Kindgregan

Joyful Spirit: Remembering Professor Charles P. Kindregan

June 18, 1935–April 19, 2016

Staff Writer

In 2016, even as his health was failing, Professor Charles (Charley) Kindregan was set on co-teaching a new family law course with Associate Clinical Professor Marit­za Karmely. “He wanted to get back into the classroom,” says Karmely, “even if he couldn’t do it full time.”

That optimism and vitality marked Kindregan’s career of almost 50 years at Suffolk Law, during which he mentored generations of students and junior faculty, shaped the school’s nationally known clinical program, served as associate dean, and built a national reputation as a prescient, prolific family law scholar. “Charley thought he had the best job in the world, and he loved it,” says his former student and long-time col­league, Professor Karen Blum JD ’74. “He always had a smile—he would always give you the bright perspective on life.”

He brought that same cheerful energy to family life with his wife, Patricia Anne Kindregan MPA ’77, who died in 1998, and their two sons and two daughters. Even when rous­ing four sleepy children for school, “he was always in a good mood, talking about the glorious morning in front of us,” says his son Charles (Chad) Kindregan JD ’89, a Boston-based trial lawyer. His father balanced personal life and work admirably, Chad says, making time for his family, and acting as his wife’s devoted primary caretaker after she was stricken by ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), while continuing to produce books and arti­cles “at a fantastic pace.”

“I’ve never met anyone as prolific in terms of his schol­arship—his breadth of knowledge was incredibly expansive,” says Maureen McBrien JD ’03, who co-taught family law cours­es with Kindregan for nine years and co-authored, with Kin­dregan and his daughter Patricia A. Kindregan BA ’91, JD ’94, the four-volume Family Law and Practice with Forms (3rd edi­tion). As far back as the 1960s, says McBrien, Kindregan was predicting the impact of reproductive technologies on family law, and the two later co-authored the ABA’s Assisted Reproduc­tive Technology: A Lawyer’s Guide to Emerging Law and Science (2006, 2nd edition 2011.)

Retired litigation attorney Ted Schwartz JD ’69 was a stu­dent in Kindregan’s first Wills and Trusts class in the fall of 1967. They bonded quickly over their shared Philadelphia heritage and fondness for cheesesteaks and soft pretzels. Kindregan’s teaching technique required students not only to recite the facts in a case, but also to “postulate the position of one side and then the other,” an approach that Schwartz later used in his own teaching, to Kindregan’s delight. Another keen student of Kindregan’s teaching and coaching skills, who also became a lifelong friend, was Robert (Bob) Ward JD ’78, formerly dean of the University of Massachusetts School of Law and now in private practice in Boston. Kindregan invited Ward to be his assistant coach for Little League in 1979. During the four years they coached together, their team won four titles. “Charley’s strength was talking to the players, building their confidence,” says Ward.

With a characteristic self-deprecating laugh, Kindregan told a Suffolk Oral History Project interviewer that he had been a runner in college until his coach said, “You’re getting a little heavy. You might want to try shot-putting.” His joy in good food and drink limited his athletic potential, and though he loved to watch his family ski at Sunday River near their vaca­tion home in Bethel, Maine, he never skied himself, joking that “if we’d been meant to ski, we’d have been born with boards on our feet.”

At the family’s vacation home in Maine, Kindregan would sit out on the porch with a pile of books and visit with the many neighbors who would drop by. “He just had that abil­ity to strike up relationships anywhere in the world,” Chad says. Back in Boston, Kindregan rented a cabana at the Charles River Health Club. “He was never in the pool, he was never ex­ercising,” recalls fellow club member Karen Blum, laughing. “He’d walk in with his books, go sit in his cabana, in a far corner in the shade, and just relax and read all day.”

Many of the books would be on the American Civil War, a passion of Kindregan’s since his studies as a history major at La Salle University in Philadelphia. A highlight of his year was his annual visit to the Civil War Institute summer conference at Gettysburg College, says his son. Attending the gathering one broiling summer day, Kindregan collapsed from heat exhaus­tion on the Gettysburg battlefield, after which he would joke that he had “fallen in the cornfield at Gettysburg.”

“You could ask him anything about the Civil War, and he knew the specifics of every battle,” says Blum, but Kindregan’s interest went beyond military topics. Associate Dean Ilene Seidman remembers being his guest at a talk he gave at the Union Club on women and the Civil War.

“If I had to choose one word for Charley, it would be ‘kind,’” says Seidman. She recalls how, on a faculty/alumni trip to Cuba in 2004, Kindregan joyfully immersed himself in Cuban history, met local lawyers and judges, and drew at­tention in the streets for his striking resemblance to “Papa” Ernest Hemingway, who lived near Havana on and off from 1939 to 1960. “He loved the kids pointing at him in the street and saying ‘Papa,’” she says. But he would also often stay be­hind to provide company for an older faculty member who had difficulty keeping up with the group. “He was always aware of when somebody might need a little help,” says Seidman.

Karmely marvels at “how intuitive he was in terms of students’ needs, even though he was a man in his late 70s who could easily have lost touch with what it was like to be a stu­dent.” Kindregan never lost touch, and his legacy of humor, human kindness, and insatiable intellectual curiosity will live long at the Law School he served and loved for nearly half a century.

Charles Kindregan’s sprit of practical generosity lives on in the Charles Kindregan Memorial Fellowship, which will provide a summer- or semester-long stipend to a student who is working in the area of family law. Students will be selected from among applicants who have demonstrated excellence in the study of family law and a commitment to practicing in this field upon graduation. This legacy fund will be sustained by donations. To inquire about honoring Professor Kindregan through this fellow­ship, please contact Jeff Foss MPA ’00, Senior Director, Corporate & Foundation Relations at 617-573-8441,

In Memoriam

Stephen J. Bandoian
BS ’70, JD ’74

Robert D. Bowes Sr.
BSJ ’52, JD ’63

Peter F. Brady
JD ’89

Edward Bray
JD ’58

Charles W. Brids
AA ’48, JD ’51

Maureen Calkins
JD ’94

Hon. Dorothy Allison Caprera
JD ’59, HLLD ’78

Robert J. Carnes
JD ’79

John A. Carnevale
JD ’90

Frank J. Carolan
JD ’72

Patrick R. Carroll
JD ’69

William Clements
JD ’76

Patrick J. Connolly
JD ’93

Thomas F. Connors
JD ’78

John M. Cooney
JD ’90

Hon. James E. Cradock
JD ’70

Richard A. Cutter
JD ’72

George R. Day
BSBA ’53, JD ’57

Kathy DeSisto
JD ’82

William M. Dolan
JD ’69

David W. Dugan
JD ’84

Rev. Amy E. Edwards
JD ’89

Ivan L. Ericson
JD ’87

Elque L. Falkner
JD ’54

David F. Flaherty
JD ’65

Thomas Frates
JD ’67

Joseph E. Gallucci Sr.
JD ’58

John P. Garan
JD ’75

Christine M. Giordano
JD ’02

Jay S. Goodman
JD ’78

William E. Halmkin
JD ’74

Michael P. Healy
JD ’71

Thomas F. Healy
JD ’79

Jerome D. Jackson
JD ’87

Peter E. Jensen
JD ’70

Bruce K. Johnson
JD ’66

Marion Marcel Kearns
JD ’82

James L. Lalime
BS ’58, JD ’60

Peter A. Lizotte
JD ’80

David R. MacKay
JD ’70

David M. Mahoney
JD ’70

Russell L. Mahony
BA ’57, JD ’60

Richard E. McCue
JD ’67

Erland McLetchie
JD ’75

Ferdinand J. Molak, Jr.
JD ’76, MBA ’81

Barbara Neuman
JD ’83

Vincent Oddo
JD ’80

James A. O’Donovan
JD ’53

Laurence Packenham
JD ’80

John W. Pendergast
BSBA ’70, JD ’76

Peter J. Philliou
JD ’75

Victoria Scoville Price
JD ’86

Michael R. Rezendes
JD ’80

Charles H. Riley Jr.
JD ’67

Nina J. Rosen
JD ’80

Margaret Ellen Ross
JD ’99

Robert B. Serino
JD ’69

Kathleen Norie Smith
BA ’71, JD ’76

Richard R. Szpak
JD ’92

Hon. William J. Tierney
BA ’61, JD ’63, HLLD ’97

Hon. David T. Turcotte
JD ’74

Harold Vaughan
JD ’68

John T. Walsh, Jr.
JD ’67

William E. Walsh
BA ’64, JD ’68

Drew Zabriskie
JD ’78

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