State Sen. Thomas P. Kennedy Dies at 63

The longtime advocate for the elderly and disabled was from Brockton.

Senator Thomas P. Kennedy at Auditor Suzanne Bump's inauguration in 2011. Photo via State Auditor's Office

Senator Thomas P. Kennedy at Auditor Suzanne Bump’s inauguration in 2011.
Photo via State Auditor’s Office

State Senator Thomas P. Kennedy of Brockton, a longtime advocate for seniors and people with disabilities, died Sunday night of complications related to recent cancer treatment. He was 63.

Kennedy was elected to the House in 1982 as a representative from Brockton where he remained until moving to the Senate in 2008 representing the Second Plymouth and Bristol District.

The longtime Democrat was a loyal family man and devout Roman Catholic. He spent the majority of his life confined to a wheelchair after an accident involving a ladder at the age of 19. At the time of the accident he was studying to become a priest.

“He embodied the true spirit of public service by dedicating his life to helping others, and has left behind a lasting legacy, “ said House Minority Leader Brad Jones in a statement.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo said he remembered when Kennedy he joined the legislature in 1991 as a state representative from Winthrop.

“He eventually became a good friend and I’ll remember him as a kind and decent man who I could rely on for advice and counsel. Senator Kennedy loved his family, his church, his constituents and his work in the Legislature,” said DeLeo.

Senate President Stan Rosenberg praised Kennedy for his time in the Senate.

“He devoted his life to serving the people of his community and was proud of his working class roots. His voice will be missed in the Senate,” said Rosenberg in a statement.