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Gerald Keenan

Obituary of Gerald R. Keenan

Gerald Richard Keenan Sr, 86, June 28, 1933 – January 6, 2020 Born in Philadelphia, Jerry lived in many locations throughout his life, including, Lafayette Hill, Pa; Manhattan, NY; Ocean City, NJ; Newport Beach, CA; Boston, MA; and, since 2001, Marmora NJ. Raised in the depression era by a strong mother and family elders including his Grandmother, Ethel, and his Aunt Evelyn, he was guided by a strong foundation of faith, respect, honor and decency. Raised as a Luthern, Jerry was a person of all faiths and was respectful of persons of all faiths. Tough times taught self-sufficiency and served as both character and confidence builders. All challenges were faced with courage and determination. As a young boy, spending much time on his own, he developed a keen sense of adventure and imagination; he loved spending time roaming the Wissahickon Woods learning about nature and the outdoors. At an early age, he became an apprentice in his uncle’s printing business. As a high school graduate, he and his best friend enlisted in the Air Force after which he spent the next four years assigned to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. During that time, he married his first wife, Anne Ryan, and at the young age of 19 became father to the first of 8 children. He embraced learning at every opportunity (National Honor Society/Silver). Returning to Philadelphia, eager to succeed in life, he continued his education by attending night school at Temple University, while employed by the Philadelphia Inquirer. He obtained his teaching credentials while continuing to work in the printing industries. In the late 1960’s, he established Quaker Manhattan, Inc., an advertising and publishing production services company, with offices in the Philadelphia suburbs and in mid-town Manhattan. He later joined Sun Chemical Services to oversee their Sun Color Services company in Costa Mesa, CA, and then their Sequa Corporation in Boston, MA. He also held advisory and consulting positions with Xerox, Certainteed, IBM, DuPont, 3-M, National Gallery of Art and Metropolitan Museum. He was a veteran, having served in the Air Force during the Korean War conflict. He was a member of Ocean City (NJ) Lodge No. 171 of Free & Accepted Masons, the Ocean City (NJ) American Legion Morvay - Miley Post 524, and various shooting sports clubs in NJ and PA. Having a keen interest in all things maritime, and especially in boating, he obtained his U.S. Maritime Officer (Captain) License under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. During his boating years, Jerry acquired many pleasure boats, each one somewhat larger than its predecessor. He loved nature and was a skeet and trap champion. Golf was another of his passions and it was his unique golf game that gave him the nickname “Timber” due to his tendency to hit his ball into the nearest woods. He believed in fairness and keeping one’s word. An important inspirational phrase throughout his life is in Latin: Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam, which in translation is: I shall either find a way, or make one. While his children were young, he was active in both BSA and GSA as Scout Leader and Advisor. He was an imaginative story-teller who created wonderful bedtime stories (called the “Dirty Sammy Stories”) for his young children. He and his wife, Roz, collected many special memories while traveling to New England and the Chesapeake. Among other treasured characteristics, Jerry was a gentle person with an abundance of kindness and good will for others, a fierce protector of those he loved and the things he valued most, a brave and happy warrior, a history buff, a patriot, someone who loved life to the fullest and was always happily anticipating “life’s next greatest adventure”. Jerry was at peace with himself and his life’s conduct. He would say he’s had a truly wonderful life with a memory box full of many unique experiences and events along the way. Survivors include his beloved wife, Rosamund “Roz” (Lyster) Keenan; children, Karen Anne Mary (Jerry) Giannini, David Ryan (Anne) Keenan, Andrew Thomas Keenan, John Bradley (Gina) Keenan, Kathleen Devlin Anne Keenan, Margaret Anne (Kevin) Sullivan, and Michael G. (Debbie) Keenan; 13 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. In addition, he is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Joan (Angelo) Casertano, and by his sister, Barbara Lois Keenan, as well as by his loving and constant companions, Choppy & Flower. Jerry was preceded in death by his parents and by his first wife. His Funeral Service and Interment are private. Memorials may be given to: Disabled American Veterans or other charities that support disabled American Veterans.