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Michael Keany

August 9, 2018
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Keany, Michael David—Beloved husband of Candy (nee Clarke); cherished father to John (Elizabeth), and Jennifer; loving grandfather of Emily and Sarah; dear son of the late Hugh and Nora; fond brother of Kay (the late Cookie) Petty, Marty (Sandy), Eugene (Teresa) the late Rosemary (the late Gene) Beyak; fond uncle to many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Northshore Home & Hospice Services, or American Cancer Society. Visitation will be held Monday from 3:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. at Cooney Funeral Home located at 625 Busse Hwy in Park Ridge. Friends and family are asked to meet at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Chicago for a funeral Mass Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. Interment private. For information please call 847-685-1002 or visit www.cooneyfuneralhome.com

 

Michael David Keany passed away August 9, 2018.  He was 82 years old.

Mike is survived by his wife of 43 years, Candy; two children, John and Jennifer; daughter-in-law Elizabeth; and two grandchildren, Emily and Sarah.  Mike was preceded in death by his sister Rosemary Beyak, her husband Gene and their daughter Pam; and is survived by his sister Kay (husband Cookie deceased), brother Marty and wife Sandy, and brother Eugene and wife Teresa.  Mike also is fondly remembered by his many nieces and nephews, by friends, and the many lives he touched.

Mike was born February 23, 1936 in Chicago to a proud Irish-Catholic family.  He was the second of five children born to parents Hugh and Nora Keany.  The family lived in a predominantly Irish-German neighborhood near DePaul University, where Mike grew up and made many lifelong friends.

In the late 1950s, Mike began working for Commonwealth Edison.  While at ComEd, he was drafted into the U.S Army and deployed to Germany. That would be the only time in Mike’s life that he didn’t live in the City of Chicago.

When Mike returned from his military service, he went back to work at ComEd.  Mike worked in one of the most dangerous jobs in the world – installing and maintaining high voltage electric lines.  For more than 40 years, he was a proud member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. 

Mike was a confirmed bachelor until he met Candy Clarke in 1975 at an Irish pub called Kelly’s.  It must have been love at first sight, because Mike and Candy were married eight months later.  The newlyweds lived on Cornelia Street in the Cragin area of the Northwest Side.  A short time later, John came along, and 11 months to the day later, his “Irish Twin” Jennifer was born.

In 1987, the Keanys moved to their current home in Morton Grove.  Mike worked long hours for ComEd, but still found time to travel to John’s hockey tournaments, attend his  baseball games and take the kids on vacation each year to the Wisconsin Dells.

Mike also enjoyed fishing, travel and Chicago sports.  For a number of years, he went on an annual fishing trip to Hayward, Wisconsin with his buddies from the old neighborhood.  Mike also held season tickets for the Blackhawks when they played at Chicago Stadium and for the Bears when they played at both Wrigley Field and Soldier Field.  One of his biggest regrets was that he gave up his season passes the year before the Bears won the Super Bowl.

While not world travelers, Mike and Candy went on a number of cruises with a group they called the “Stock Club” – a collection of old friends who pooled money to purchase stocks as investments.  Mike had a special place in his heart for Hawaii.  He and Candy vacationed there a couple of times, and Mike seemed happiest and most serene on the islands.  Hawaii may have been the only place on earth that could have pried Mike away from his beloved Chicago.

When Mike retired from ComEd, he remained very active.  He would walk the dog 5-7 miles every day and also exercised several times a week.  Mike cut the lawn, shoveled the snow and liked tackling assorted household projects.  He particularly enjoyed tending to his roses in the back yard.

Shortly after Mike retired, Jennifer was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, which slowly robbed Jen of her mobility and dexterity.  Candy was still working at the time, so Mike took on the role of caregiver – helping Jen around the house and taking her to all of her appointments.  Whatever Jennifer needed, Mike was there for her.

After retirement, Mike also continued his many years of volunteer work for Misericordia, an organization that provides services to children and adults with developmental challenges.  Mike began volunteering at Misericordia when he was still with ComEd – helping out a co-worker whose son is a Misericordia resident.  Every year, Mike and a group of his ComEd colleagues would string electrical lines, set up poles and build booths for Misericordia’s annual Family Fest.  It was a labor of love for Mike, and something he looked forward to for a number of years.

Mike also enjoyed meeting up with old friends for weekly breakfasts, where they would tell and re-tell old stories and reminisce about simpler times.  On Thursday mornings it was his buddies from the old neighborhood.  Fridays he met up with former ComEd co-workers.  These weekly get-togethers were a ritual of Mike’s for most of his retirement.  But sadly, as the years passed, his breakfast groups got smaller and smaller.  And, when Mike’s health began to slip in 2015, he wasn’t able to attend nearly as often as he would have liked. 

Until the past few years, Mike lived a very healthy and vibrant life.  While there was nearly 20 years of age difference between Mike and Candy, you never would have guessed it when you saw them together.  Even as Mike’s health declined, he would still greet you with a smile and nearly crush your right paw with his hearty handshake.

Mike was a poster boy for the prideful men of his generation.  He was the kind of man who wouldn’t miss a day of work or Saturday mass unless he was in traction. Mike was a proud, no-nonsense, hard working, blue collar guy, who was a relentless provider for his family – and a consummate husband, father, co-worker and friend.  It may sound like a cliché, but they just don’t make ‘em like Mike Keany anymore. 

Mike touched many lives in his 82 years, and it’s OK to mourn his passing – but just for a while.  For those of us who had the pleasure of knowing Mike, we should treasure our own special memories and know that we are better for having had him in our lives.

God bless, and rest in peace, Mike.

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