BEVERLY FARMS — John J. ("Jack") Keegan, 82, of Beverly Farms died peacefully Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at Masconomet Healthcare, in Topsfield surrounded by his children.
He is reunited in eternal life with his beloved wife of 52 years, the late Joan M. (McTiernan) Keegan who passed away on Feb. 18, 2009.
Born on Oct. 15, 1925 in Beverly, he was the son of the late John J. and Mary E. (Fleming) Keegan and lived most of his life in Beverly Farms. He was a graduate of the Beverly High School, Class of 1943. At only 17 years of age, Jack enlisted in the United States Navy serving until being honorably discharged on May 8, 1946. Stationed in San Diego, he was an Aviation Radioman on Coastal Patrol Duty.
Following World War II, along with other Farms veterans, he obtained a Private Pilots License from Northeast Airways, Beverly Airport. He re-enlisted in the Navy from 1949 to 1953 serving as an Aviation Electronicsman at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Md. Upon discharge from the Navy, he served briefly as a Beverly Police officer before beginning his career in communications with American Airlines. After an almost 30-year career at both Logan Airport and in Boston, he retired in 1982.
In the Beverly Farms community, Jack was known for the twinkle in his eye when he smiled. He was a good friend to all his neighbors on his "block"; always ready to lend a hand to an old friend or a new resident. Jack stocked treats for the neighborhood dogs that happily beat a path to his door. Those neighborhood family friendships, most extending through decades, were a core part of Joan & Jack's lives.
A longtime active member and former Post Commander of the Michael J. Cadigan, Jr. American Legion, Post 46, Jack participated in all Legion events. He always proudly marched in the Beverly Farms Memorial Day parades. He was also a communicant of Saint Margaret Parish.
Jack instilled in his children a love of reading, history and travel. Family vacations combined an opportunity to see the world with an educational experience. Jack supported his children and their classmates in a variety of extracurricular activities providing encouragement and transportation around the North Shore.
His retirement years were filled with family including his six grandchildren. To the strains of John Philip Sousa, "Pop Pop" instilled patriotism in his children and grandchildren on each Memorial Day and the 4th of July. He enjoyed playing golf and chess with his many friends. In later years, he enjoyed watching Red Sox games and visiting local restaurants with his close friend the late Arthur C. ("Bunny") Davis. Along with Joan, Jack enjoyed winters spent with their many friends in Deerfield Lake Condominiums in Florida.
Since suffering a stroke, Jack spent the last year at Masconomet Healthcare where the nurses and staff became part of the Keegan family. The personalized care and support he received was delivered with much love and often evoked a smile from Jack in return.
Jack is survived by a son and son-in-law, James F. Keegan and Daniel L. Houle, of Boston, a daughter and son-in-law, Joanne M. and Kenneth H. Follette, of Beverly and a daughter and son-in-law, Julie A. and David J. Collinge of Toronto, Canada, He is also survived by six grandchildren Molly and Heather Follette of Beverly, Alyssa and Jameson Reed and Erica and Bridget Collinge of Toronto, and a sister, Margaret T. Keegan of Beverly Farms and a sister-in-law, Ellen Reilly SND of Milton. He was also supported throughout his life by his many cousins, including Eileen Conway of Bonita Springs, Fla., Elizabeth Smith of Franklin, Robert M. Tully of Beverly, and Charles Keegan of Sharon, A brother James F. Keegan and a sister Ann P ("Nancy") Keegan predeceased him.
ARRANGEMENTS: A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Margaret's Church, Beverly Farms on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Visiting hours at the Campbell - Lee, Moody, Russell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot St., Beverly on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. Burial in Beverly Farms Cemetery. Contributions in his memory may be made to The Beverly Farms Public Library, 24 Vine St., Beverly Farms, MA 01915. Information, directions, condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com.