LACONIA — Pete Kearney cut a large profile when he walked into a room, and he had the personality to match. As helpful as he was loud, the New York transplant made himself a well-loved part of the Laconia community.
“He was a crazy guy,” said Meghan Doptis, bartender and general manager for Tower Hill Tavern. Kearney, who operated Some Funky Skillz tattoo parlor on Main Street, had other sides to him as well, Doptis said. “He was off the wall, but at the same time, a family guy who was proud of his children and in love with his wife.”
Kearney, who had dealt with health issues recently, died on Sept. 3 of congestive heart failure, leaving behind two teenage children and his wife, Suzie, with whom he was just days away from celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary. He was 46 years old.
A benefit will be held for the Kearney family on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 2 to 6 p.m. on the outdoor patio at The Big House at Weirs Beach.
The Pete Kearney Benefit will feature live music by Amy’s Ex and Mike Loughlin, many raffles, and food provided by Osteria Poggio.
Doptis spent many hours getting to know Kearney, most of those under his ink gun.
“Pete was a one-of-a-kind guy, he’d give you the shirt off your back, help anybody, teach anybody,” Doptis said. She added that he also didn’t pull any punches and would say exactly what he was thinking. Kearney, who was adept at graffiti art as well as tattooing, was known for wearing Adidas shell-toed shoes and for his use of the phrases, “What’s right is what’s right” and “Much love.”
“He was a talker, he was loud, everybody knew who he was,” Doptis said. “He loved you, but he would tell you like it is… He was just larger than life.”