Reverend Thomas's Story

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LAMOINE - On August 28, 2015, the Reverend Thomas E. Keenan was called to his rest and to the glory of the Resurrection promised by the Lord. He was 90 years old. Father Keenan was born June 11, 1925 in Dover, NH the son of Thomas H. and Mary E. (Winslow) Keenan.

After high school he served 3 years in the U.S. Army during WWII in the Army Corp of Engineers. He was ordained a priest on June 5, 1955 by the Most Reverend Matthew F. Brady D.D, at Saint Joseph Cathedral in Manchester. Father Keenan studied at the University of Notre Dame, and then he completed his ecclesiastical studies at the Grand Seminary in Montreal, PQ, Canada.

He marched with Martin Luther King in Selma. He was involved in many social justice movements and the Christian Family Movement. When China opened their borders, Father Keenan was the clerical representative from NH. In 1988 he became very involved in environmental issues. After his retirement in 1992, he had a sabbatical at the University of New Hampshire with a focus on sustainability and spirituality. At that time he became a master gardener. While at the university he and a good friend , Karen Blennerhassett developed a plan for an organic garden which ultimately became the Cottage Farm in Lamoine. Father Keenan and Karen continued to work on water issues pertaining to aquifers and fragile eco systems. They and others were able to get several bills passed in the Legislature.

Father Keenan is survived by sister-in-laws, Susan Keenan of Dover, NH and Joan Keenan of Washington, DC; five nephews, Thomas, Alan Philip, Robert and Gregory Keenan; one niece, Barbara Mahoney; two grandnephews, and two grandnieces; two special cousins, Thomas Winslow and Mary Ellen Yorkkell; many other cousins and friends throughout the country; and a special friend in the Netherlands, Marieke Smeets. He was predeceased by three siblings, Francis J. Keenan, Philip E. Keenan and Mary Patricia Keenan.

Special thanks to Michael Dube, Kelsey George, JP and Kaysie Taillon, daughter Quinn and brother Devin, Tom Spruce, Brad Hamel, Kim Horton, RN, and all the Hospice volunteers especially Pam, Cliff, Roseann and Lynda.

On Thursday, September 3, 2015, the Rite of Reception of the Body will take place at St. Joseph Church, 231 Main St. Ellsworth where Father Keenan will lie in state from 3:00-5:00 pm. Friday, September 4th, a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. with a reception to follow at the parish center. The Rite of Committal will be celebrated at a later date.

Contributions in Father Keenan's memory may be made to MOFGA, P O Box 170, Unity, ME 04988 or WERU-FM, P O Box 170, E. Orland, ME 04431 or the Emmaus Center, P O Box 811, Ellsworth, ME 04605

Arrangement by Jordan-Fernald, 113 Franklin St. Ellsworth

Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com
Published on  September 1, 2015
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