Passed peacefully at Northumberland Hills Hospital Cobourg on Friday, November 21 in his 105th year after a brief illness. Predeceased 2007 by his beloved wife of 72 years Pearl (McCallum) he is survived by sister, Hazel Schrum of Sudbury, brother Alan Keenan of Dundas, four children, Jim Keenan (Arlene) of Prescott, Bob Keenan (Doreen) of Campbellford, Caroline Keenan of Newfoundland, and Lynda Keenan of Cobourg. Much beloved grandfather to Amanda, Barry, Wendy, Anne, Lark, Tracy, Celeste, Ed and great grandfather to Mitchell, Tessa, Spencer, Ayisha, Shaylene, Shane, Quinn and Pierce.
Born July 9, 1910 at Cobourg Cottage Hospital on James St to Elizabeth Hewis Keenan and David Bill Keenan. During the Great Depression he worked at Dominion Wheel and Foundries, Cobourg Union Cemetery and as caretaker at Cobourg Collegiate Institute. He joined the non permanent active militia in 1934. When WWII was declared, he trained in Kingston and Petawawa and rose to the rank of Battery Sergeant Major, 47th Battery and then Regimental Sgt. Major, 5th Canadian Light Anti Aircraft Regiment before going overseas September 26, 1941. He took part in The Air Defense of Great Britain, The Italian Campaign, France, Belgium and the Liberation of Holland. After repatriation Christmas, 1945 he returned to work at Cobourg District Collegiate Institute. When CDCI East was built he acquired Stationary Engineering papers and took over the supervision of maintenance for both Cobourg collegiates. Before retiring in 1975 he had taken on the supervision, operation and maintenance of all 52 schools within The Northumberland and Newcastle Board of Education. Until his recent hospitalization he lived in the house he built for his family in 1950 next door to his childhood home. He has written memoirs about his early life and war years and he enjoyed recounting stories to anyone who was interested. Earlier this year he provided historical information to the Sifton-Cook Heritage Centre for their 2014 military exhibit.
Many thanks to Dr. Emery and the staff of NHH for their vigilance and kind care. At the family’s request there will be no visitation or service. A family graveside service will be held at Cobourg Union Cemetery at a later date. Donations may be made to Northumberland Hills Hospital Foundation. Condolences received at www.MacCoubrey.com.
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