Los Angeles and Ardkeeen, Kilmeena, Westport
The death occurred of Seán Keane, formally of Ardkeen, Kilmeena, Westport, on October 25, 2017, aged 82 years, in Los Angeles.
Seán was born to Patrick and Mamie Keane in Ardkeen, Kilmeena on May 27, 1935. A year later his brother Paddy was born. Seán went to school in the local national school in Myna. In 1956, Seán emigrated to London where he worked for two and a half years. In 1960, he made his way to New York with the help of his cousin and friend, Tom Diskin. He remained living and working in the States, living the most exciting life, even managing to rub shoulders with the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. Seán liked to travel. He went from New York to Chicago, from there to Nashville, Tennesee, Los Vegas, Northern California, Oregan and Mexico, before finally settling in Los Angeles and returning regularly on holidays to his native Kilmeena. His adventures also led him to visit New Zealand and Australia. As Seán was 6 foot 4 inches, he was fondly known as ‘big John’.
Seán’s cousin Tom Diskin, in a letter to Seán’s mother Mamie, back in 1957, wrote: “We will make Sean one of the family.” And that they did for the next 60 years.
On November 4, Seán’s body made his final journey home to his native Ardkeen where he spent his final two days in his beautiful home surrounded by family and friends.
At Seán’s funeral Mass, his grandnieces and nephews Hannah, Rachel, Mollie, DJ Sean and Ellie Mai brought forward symbols of Seán’s life and Laura spoke about each symbol as it was presented. Among the symbols were Seán’s blue cap and torch that he used on his nightly visits to his family in Kilmeena; A set of goalposts that symbolised his grand nieces and nephews and many a child who gained great fun and happiness in his garden while he was away (that Seán himself never seen as they were hid again before each time he returned home); A birthday card that showed he shared his birthday (May 27) with his grandniece Rachel for the past 18 years; A letter from his cousin Tom Diskin sent to his mother Mamie in 1957 offering to take care of him in America; A photo of Seán’s truck that he used to travel the length and breadth of the USA and shared with us so many stories of his exciting travels. There was also a treasured photo of Seán with all his family in Kilmeena. The first and second reading were read by his grandnephews Aaron and Patrick. Prayers of the Faithful were read by his nephews Pakie and Noel, grandnieces Rachel and Mollie, and grandnephew DJ. His brother Paddy and cousin Fabienne brought the bread and wine to the altar. A post-communion reflection was read by his grandniece Carolyn and cousin Fabienne. Fittingly the song ‘Going Home’ was sang by the wonderful Kilmeena Folk Choir as he left the church to his final resting place in Myna cemetery.
Seán will be sadly missed by his brother Paddy and sister-in-law Jennifer; niece Mary, nephews Seán (Martina), Pakie (Mary), Dominic (Tricia) and Noel.
“Until we meet again Seán, we have you in our hearts.”