Lifestyle Obituaries

Former Conard Soccer Coach Kerrie Massaro Dies of Cancer, Scholarship Fund Created

Kerrie Massaro. Courtesy photo

Kerrie Massaro of West Hartford died Monday of breast cancer at age 49.

By Ronni Newton

Kerrie Massaro fought several battles with breast cancer with the strength and courage she brought to everything she did. On Monday, Nov. 1, she died peacefully, and is being remembered by family, and her many friends and colleagues, for her spirit and her dedication to “helping young people learn, grow and build their confidence to help them build life skills they can use for all aspects of their lives.”

Massaro, who was 49, taught physical education and health at Conard High School, where she was also a coach of the girls soccer team for 16 years, six of which were as head coach of the varsity team. While she stepped down from her head coaching position in 2019 for treatment after her most recent breast cancer diagnosis, she continued to attend games and assist from the sidelines whenever possible.

Massaro also coached Unified Sports, and served as a coach/counselor at Spirit Sports Camp.

Prior to the start of Monday’s Conard vs. Hall girls soccer game, a moment of silence for Massaro was observed,

“Coach Massaro’s passion was coaching and mentoring students. She was an amazing advocate for her student-athletes and will be forever missed,” said Jason Siegal, West Hartford’s athletic director.

“Kerrie represented everything that is great about Conard,” said West Hartford Superintendent Tom Moore, who taught at Conard and was the school’s principal before moving to the superintendent’s office.

“She was a tenacious coach, she welcomed all students in her class regardless of abilities, and was a great friend. I was fortunate to know her for the past 25 years, and my heart breaks for her wonderful family, and all who loved her,” Moore said.

Kerrie Massaro speaks at West Hartford Town Hall, February 2015. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

A native of Franklin, MA, Massaro and her husband, Matt, moved to West Hartford to raise their family. Their two daughters, Kathleen and Lauren, who attended Conard, grew up surrounded by a circle of close friends they called the “WeHa crew.”

“Kerrie has touched so many lives and none more than to her family and friends,” her obituary states. “This is a tremendous loss for her daughters – we ask that you support them now and into the future as we find our path to healing. Kerrie’s memory and legacy will live on through her students, players, and family. God Bless Kerrie and thank you for everything you have given us – missed, but never forgotten.”

In 22 hours, a GoFundMe campaign launched by Tara Ledwith, a member of the WeHa crew, had raised $13,803 – far exceeding the initial $5,000 goal. Funds are being raised for the “Coach Massaro Memorial Scholarship.”

“This award will be presented annually to a Senior Conard High School Girls Soccer Player who embodies the characteristics Kerrie modeled as a former athlete, teacher, and coach: Courage, kindness and determination,” the GoFundMe description states.

“Coach Kerrie Massaro was a dedicated and caring coach who loved her players and the Conard soccer family. Coach Massaro valued effort, leadership and sportsmanship,” and the scholarship will be awarded each spring to “a deserving senior girls soccer player who embraces Kerrie’s spirit and the qualities we loved so much about her.”

Friends may call at Sheehan-Hilborn-Breen Funeral Home, 1084 New Britain Ave., West Hartford, on Monday, Nov. 8, from 4-7 p.m.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021 in St. Mark the Evangelist Church, West Hartford. Burial will be private.

Massaro’s complete obituary can be found here.

For online condolences please visit: www.SheehanHilbornBreen.com

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