John "Jack" D. Keaney
September 28, 1995 – July 3, 2018
John David Keaney, always known as Jack, was born on September 28, 1995, the beloved son of Patrick Keaney and Nina Ellen Keaney.
Jack’s verbal skills were precocious, and he was speaking full sentences before he was one. The resulting never-ending stream of consciousness dialogue entertained most of those around him (his parents being the exception from time to time). At Grand Canyon National Park he showcased this early skill when, at the age of seven, he held court before an entertained busload of tourists for five minutes about the intricacies of condor hygiene before seamlessly, and without pause for breath, asking his father if he could have a flamethrower.
Jack also demonstrated his skills as a leader and influencer at an early age when he single-handedly spearheaded a successful drive to convert his pre-school from a reward system based upon M&Ms to one that bestowed merit with Skittles, resulting in increased morale and efficiency of all in the toddler to pre-K rooms. The fact that he, personally, disliked chocolate was not a factor in his chosen initiative.
As proficient with walking as he was with talking, Jack was on skates at the hockey rink by the age of fifteen months. His hockey career was briefly derailed when his father brought him home from the rink covered in blood from an unfortunate hand and skate collision that resulted in his mom saying NO MORE SKATING until he was a little steadier on his feet.
A bright child, Jack’s educational pursuits were hampered by his passion for being everything but a scholar in the classroom. He honed his multi-tasking skills while simultaneously be-friending every child in the classroom, charming his teacher, entertaining all with his quick one-liners, and ensuring that classroom rules applied to everyone but him. His teachers always seemed just as surprised as him when his grades fell short of stellar.
Jack spent grades six through nine at the Environmental and Adventure School, a collaborative learning cooperative that emphasized community stewardship and outdoor education. Through their programming, Jack developed a love for service that ultimately fueled his desire to enlist in the military.
Jack’s love of sports encompassed anything that he could kick, throw, or hit, but, like his father, hockey was his true passion. His coaches counted on him to spark morale on the ice, the bench, and the locker room. His ability to rattle opponents with his chirping was rivaled only by his inability to wash anything in his hockey bag. His mother drove a pick-up truck solely so that his hockey bag could remain outside in hopes that fresh air would temper the stench. He was a back-checker and a grinder, every teammate knowing that Jack was ready to shed the mitts in his defense at a moment’s notice. It took only one shift on the ice with Jack – from New Bedford, to Seattle, to Wilcox, Saskatchewan, to the East Coast Eagles, to Norwich University - to know Jack’s heartfelt love of the game and his team.
Jack’s passion for hockey resulted in an eclectic secondary education: he spent one year at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, WA, another at the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, in Wilcox, Saskatchewan, and his senior year at Wakefield High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. Remarkably, every time his mother visited him at school in Canada or North Carolina to see his games, he managed to be ejected from a game at least once during her visit.
Jack enlisted in the Army as an infantryman in November, 2017, an awesome responsibility that he took on proudly. He excelled during basic training, serving as Platoon Guide and graduating as the Honor Graduate for his platoon. He was stationed at Fort Polk, Louisiana, at the time of his death, with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain “Patriots” Division.
Jack was a fun, loving, and engaging child who grew into a caring young man who strove to love the people around him and to make his family proud. Jack was an active duty member of the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division, fulfilling a lifelong dream of being a member of the US Military. He was so proud to serve his country as a member of the Armed Forces. Sadly, the monster of addiction is aggressive and powerful. Jack fought long and hard against it and accomplished a tremendous amount in spite of it’s terrible lure. His family will forever be grateful to every friend, teammate and especially all of his family who supported him, encouraged him, and stood by him.
Jack is survived by his father, Patrick Keaney, his mother, Nina Ellen Keaney, his sisters Nora and Kate Keaney, his grandparents, David and Nancy Lewis and Dave and Christine Keaney, as well as many cousins, aunts, and uncles. Jack is also survived by the love of his life, Maegan Hunt of Egan, Minnesota.
In lieu of flowers, Jack’s family asks that donations be made in his name to St. Paul Sober Living, a recovery program that supported and assisted Jack and his entire family over the past two years. Donations can be made via PayPal to the email: Chris@stpaulsoberliving.com.
To learn more about St. Paul Sober Living, or if you or someone you know needs assistance, please contact: Christopher Edrington Executive Director: St. Paul Sober Living, Post: 569 Selby Ave St. Paul, MN 55102, Email: Chris@stpaulsoberliving.com, Mobile: 651.248.1996, Office: 51.636.SPSL(7775), http://stpaulsoberliving.com/
For online tributes please visit: www.waring-sullivan.com
- Patrick Keaney, Father
- Nina Ellen Keaney, Mother
- Nora Keaney, Sister
- Kate Keaney, Sister
- David and Nancy Lewis, Grandparents
- Dave and Christine Keaney, Grandparents
- Jack is also survived by many cousins, aunts, and uncles. Jack is also survived by the love of his life, Maegan Hunt of Egan, Minnesota.
- Private Services
John "Jack" D. Keaney
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Collynn (Petey) Temple
July 31, 2018
Chris, Dave and family,
My sincerely sympathy to all, especially Patrick and Nina on the loss of Jack. May family, friends and memories fill your hearts during this very sad time. My family and I send you all our heartfelt condolences. It seems like only yesterday I saw Patrick as a young man himself and wanted to let you know you are all in my thoughts and prayers.
July 18, 2018
I was so sorry to hear of Jack's passing. Your tribute to him was beautiful and really helped me understand the fullness of his life and his character. I remember the early years that you so colorfully described, but now feel caught up on what I've missed. I'm sure it was excruciating to put the tribute together, but what a beautiful, vivid reflection of the wonderful young man he grew to be -- so much to be proud of. You will continue to be in my prayers,
July 15, 2018
Patrick and Nina,
Please know that you, and all your family, are in my thoughts and prayers during this trying time. May you find some comfort from the love and support of your friends and family. If there is anything I can do, please do not hesitate to ask.
July 14, 2018
Dear Patrick and Nina,
The obituary is a wonderful tribute to Jack and his life. Uncle Bobby and I were looking at the photos on your Facebook pages and Jack's curiosity and delight in whatever he was doing shown in every photo. Clearly he loved his family, and his family's love for him was clearly evident.
Jack will always be remembered by us, we send our prayers and hope that the joyful memories you shared in the obituary will be a comfort for you.
One question: why did he want a flamethrower?
Love, Uncle Bobby and Auntie Edie