Former Maine corrections commissioner Kearns dies

Posted Jan. 03, 2011, at 11:48 a.m.

KEENE, N.H. — A former Vermont newsman who went on to serve six governors in Vermont and Maine has died.

William F. Kearns Jr. died Sunday in Keene, N.H., after a period of failing health. He was 89.

Daughter Diane Duncan confirmed the death on Monday.

Kearns worked as a reporter for the Bennington Banner and Rutland Herald before leading the Morning Press Bureau in Montpelier, which during the 1950s was the Statehouse bureau for the Herald and the Burlington Free Press.

Kearns went on to work for five Vermont governors from the 1950s through the 1970s in a variety of administrative posts and Maine Gov. Kenneth Curtis as commissioner of Mental Health and Corrections.

He retired to Florida in 1989, but moved to New Hampshire in 2002 to be near family.

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