John Charles Keenan

31 December, 194612 April, 2021

John was a generous, kind, and gentle man. He was always happiest when he was with Marie, his wife of 30 years, and together they made a beautiful and welcoming home. He enjoyed keeping up with his grandchildren, whom he adored.

John was born in Walsall, England. When he was five years old, he and his family moved to Canada and made Calgary their home. In Calgary, he discovered a love of sports, playing hockey, baseball, and golf in his younger years. He looked forward to retirement so he could play golf more often. He excelled at all card games and was especially good at poker, playing with friends almost weekly for more than 30 years.

John lived his entire life in Calgary but he loved road trips and cruises. He appreciated nice cars and cared for the ones he owned with great detail. He and Marie often drove across Canada and down to the southern United States. Las Vegas was always a popular destination for John and he made numerous trips there with his friends that were always memorable. He loved his annual golf trip every spring with the boys. For John, the time spent with friends was more important than the golf. He made an annual winter pilgrimage to Yuma where he and Marie would join the other Canadian Snowbirds, trading Calgary winters for the natural beauty and warmth of the Arizona desert. He eagerly looked forward to these each winter and spoke about relaxing with friends and family and soaking in retired life. John and Marie hosted and attended many parties and happy hours there. They would often drive into the desert at night to enjoy campfires with friends.

John always packed elaborate and delicious picnics on road trips with meticulous thought to the delight of his passengers. At home, he would frequently be found in the kitchen cooking and preparing meals for visitors. In the summer, their kitchen was filled with containers of colourful vegetables, freshly harvested from his greenhouse. With his green thumb, he produced tomatoes that became famous amongst family and friends and he freely shared these tasty treats.

John was intensely interested in life. When he wasn’t working in his beloved greenhouse or on a road trip, he could be found sitting in his favourite blue chair. Although he never missed a hockey game on TV, he also had a thirst for knowledge. He watched mysteries, history, and National Geographic documentaries.

John was awarded degrees in Business and Commerce as well as Psychology from the University of Calgary. He worked at Hull Child and Family Services for 36 years where he made many lasting friends. He was a generous person who always offered support, encouragement, and a positive outlook to those close to him. His calming presence, easy going nature, and openness to all will be sadly and immensely missed.

Despite a challenging diagnosis of A.L.S., John remained committed to staying connected with close family and friends. He was remarkably calm as A.L.S. took him down a rough road. John Keenan passed away on April 12, 2021. He leaves behind his wife Marie, loving family, and numerous lifelong friends. He will be deeply missed and remembered with great love.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations being made in John’s memory directly to the A.L.S. Society of Alberta.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


John Charles Keenan

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Betty Walker

3 May 2021

So sad to hear of John's passing. We go way back many years when we worked and played together WRHH. Many fond memories playing cards, sharing meals, travelled together to Vancouver Island. Sad we lost touch.

Esther Wiebe

25 April 2021

John's passing has deeply saddened me. My sincere condolences go out to Marie and to the family. John was my supervisor during the many years I worked at Hull Services in the Human Resources department. He was always available for advice and direction. I remember how, when he reviewed my reports, he would gently chide me on account of my propensity for using overly long sentences. I learned a lot from John.

Paul Leger

25 April 2021

Dear Marie and family:
I was very saddened to learn of John's passing, having had the pleasure of working closely with him on the investment committee of the Hull Child and Family Foundation.
I fondly remember and will always cherish the memories of our more than 25 year association. A true gentleman and a joy to have as an associate.
Monique joins me in extending to you and the members of your extended family our warm and heartfelt sympathy.
Paul Leger

David Churchill

22 April 2021

My condolences for your loss.
I had the privilege to work with John while I was on the Board of Hull Services. It was a pleasure to work with John. He was always easy to talk to and work with. What I admired most about John was how much he cared for Hull and what it does for children.
I am grateful to have known John.
Take care,

David Churchill

Lesley MacDonald

22 April 2021

For a time, John was my colleague across the hall at Hull Child and Family Services. His equanimity was calming during the periodic budgetary crises he had to negotiate. John was a member of the management team, but was never intimidating but rather good natured and fair minded and with a sense of humour. My sincere condolences to Marie and to John’s family.