June 7, 1933 - September 7, 2017
John Winfield Keegan, Jr., was born June 07, 1933, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to John, Sr., and Anna Cole Keegan. He passed away on September 7, 2017, several hours after arriving home from Vitas Hospice, The Woodlands, Texas. He had a lengthy illness with myelodysplastic syndrome, then esophageal cancer in 2016 and a devastating spinal cord infarction July 7, 2017, developing pneumonia. His suffering has been replaced with peace and he showed great courage and even humor throughout the last two months. He had a larger than life persona and family and friends will miss him greatly. John resided in the City of Panorama Village, Conroe, for 20 years with his wife, Patricia (Pat) Keegan. He attended Transfiguration Catholic School, and graduated from Sharon Hill High School in the Philadelphia area. He attended Drexel University in 1955 with a degree in Industrial Business Management. He served four years in the U.S. Navy, with the U.S.S. Sanborn during the Korean War. His first love was baseball and he played on the Newport R.I. naval team for two years before deploying to the U.S.S. Sanborn. He was employed by Gulf Oil Corporation/Chevron for 30 years rising through the ranks from Plant Manager in Linden, N.J. to Southern Regional Manager in Atlanta, Ga., and then promoted to the Houston Home Office as a Corporate Safety Director, International, retiring in 1985. He retired from his second career in 1999 as a Senior Loss Prevention Consultant with Texas Municipal League – Interregional Risk Pool, serving small cities in the area, including Conroe, to improve work safety. He enjoyed his time with TML due to “hands on” visits with numerous cities’ Mayor, Police Chief, Fire Chief, and Plant Managers. He had attended Fire Control School at A & M and stressed the importance of hazardous materials and fire prevention. He was a member of many professional organizations, including the American Society of Engineers and achieved the Texas Field Safety Representative Designation in 1990. When he wasn’t ill, he attended church twice on Sundays. He was a member of Sacred Heart Cathedral and after Mass he would drive hurriedly to First Presbyterian Church of Conroe to attend services with Pat. He enjoyed the camaraderie and Dr. David Green’s unique sermons and sense of humor. John and wife, Patricia Stoker ( Besheer) Keegan of 33 years, married in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Considering it was too far to drive to see Pat when she took a new job there, he transferred from Houston to nearby El Paso as a Senior Loss Control Engineer with Travelers Insurance. Later they would transfer to San Antonio, Texas, 1991, to Austin until 1998 and then Conroe, Texas. Pat enjoyed his humor and it lightened up their life. For example, John would say ,“Darling, Sweetheart, Love of My Life, Flower Amongst All Thorns, “would you like to go to Olive Garden for dinner?” (Or what ever he wanted to do) Another time, he lovingly hid twenty $5.00 bills all through the house, on her 50th birthday. He was humorous, romantic giant to Pat. An avid golfer, starting the game at age 40, he was a recent member of Panorama Village Golf Club and past member of Onion Creek Country Club, Austin, Texas. He considered his golf foursome to be part of the family at Panorama. When the club was private, Board member, Ron Myers appointed John to golf- course oversight. He felt like the “complaint department” at Macy’s he said, but did enjoy it. In 2006, after a quintuple bypass he became dedicated to Mended Hearts, Inc., Chapter 245 organization in Conroe, and served as President 2010-2012 growing the chapter to new heights. He visited heart patients and their families at Conroe General Hospital to inspire hope, offer support through education and help improve their quality of life. He had his first heart attack at 47, exercised diligently and believed it to be the most important factor in maintaining good health. In his younger years, he was a member of Darby, Pennsylvania, NO. 2 Volunteer Fire Dept. He had a great respect for public servants -firemen and policemen. He attended Fire Control School at Texas A& M while in the Atlanta office of Gulf Oil Corporation. As a youth in high school he sang in a popular quartet and his love of music has always been an important part of his life. He loved the oldies, show tunes, and anything from Frank Sinatra to tenors Il Divo; he looked forward to the church music and adored the choir. “Johnny” had the ability to remember and recall old lyrics quickly. He also loved the mornings and he sang every day as he shaved (carefully) a remembered jingle or old tune he liked. This was a great way to start the day and Pat loved waiting to see what the song of the day was going to be! To Pat, he was first known as Coach Keegan, from coaching Pat’s son Drake and his own son, John, in youth basketball when they resided in the FM 1960 area; later he requested she call him “Johnny.” From his children’s young ages he participated with both daughter and sons in softball, baseball, or basketball through ages 16 at Cy-Fair Sports League or Prince of Peace Catholic Church. He influenced many young lives with good values and fair play. Mr. Keegan was preceded in death by his parents and grandmother Anna Mitchell Keegan; son, John W. Keegan, III; sister, Carolyn Grace. Survivors include his spouse, Pat and four daughters: Debra Cazalas, Sharon Estes, JoAnn Williams and Lisa Soetaert; Pat’s sons Drake Besheer and Craig Besheer; ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren, brother-in-law Harry Grace, many nieces and nephews.; and a host of friends and neighbors. Many holidays, trips and golf outings were enjoyed with Drake and Craig as they were 15 and 16 when Pat and John married. He was a big part of their lives and taught them much, especially how to tie a “Windsor knot”; and there were many laughs that will be missed. Special appreciation to his loving daughters for their support, and Ron Myers of Panorama Village for his visits, Dr. David Green, First Presbyterian Church of Conroe, neighbors Mary and Bob Brock who were so ready to help when needed. . A Memorial Service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, Conroe, Texas, by Dr. David Green, on Monday, September 18 ,10 a.m., interment will be in the VA Cemetery, Friday the 22nd at 10 a.m. Remembrances may be made to Mended Hearts, Inc., Chapter 245, Conroe, TX, at Conroe Regional Medical Center, Attention: Mr. Joe Fry.
John Winfield Keegan, Jr., was born June 07, 1933, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to John, Sr., and Anna Cole Keegan. He passed away on September 7, 2017, several hours after arriving home from Vitas Hospice, The Woodlands, Texas. He had a... View Obituary & Service Information
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