Thomas Behan Death | Obituary – Thomas Behan age 80 of Haverhill, Massachusetts, sadly passed away from COVID-19. Longtime Haverhill educator, principal and friend to city children Thomas F. Behan died Wednesday morning at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen from complications due to COVID-19. He was 80.
Behan was a fixture in the Haverhill public school community, serving on the School Committee for four years, along with being principal of several schools including Moody, Hunking, St. James and Silver Hill.
Behan’s family called him a devoted family man and dedicated leader known for playing kickball and football with students at recess.
“His greatest joy in life was being surrounded by family and friends,” the family remembered in Behan’s obituary. “He had a welcoming smile, positive energy, and when he told a story, the whole room listened. He loved hosting Sunday cookouts by the pool on North Broadway, fishing and boating at Goose Rocks Beach, weekends at Hampton Beach, and winters in Florida with his wife Pat. His hobbies included gardening, flowers, and landscaping. He will be dearly missed by his loving family and friends.”
A lifelong Haverhill resident, Behan graduated as a member of Haverhill High School’s class of 1957, where he was class president for all four years, his family said. Behan began his career in education teaching science at Hunking School before becoming a school principal. After retiring from the Haverhill public school system, Behan served as principal of Meritor Academy in North Andover.
“He was a great educator and really believed in every student,” said Behan’s daughter Mary Ward. “He always rooted for the underdog and always felt like every kid has a shot.”
The personable Behan would also frequently bring joy to nursing home patients during visits to his own family members, Ward said.
“He’d have them singing and smiling,” his daughter remembered.
Sports were also big for Behan, who was a member of the 1955 Haverhill High state champion football team. He also coached football at Haverhill High and coached his sons in baseball in the St. Joseph’s Little League.
We express our sympathy and deepest condolences to Behan’s family today and in the days, weeks, months, and years that are to come as they cope with his passing. May his soul rest in peace.
THOMAS BEHAN of Haverhill, Massachusetts, died of COVID-19. He was a fixture in the Haverhill public school community, serving as principal of several schools.
“His greatest joy in life was being surrounded by family and friends.”
— FacesOfCOVID (@FacesOfCOVID) July 16, 2020