Elizabeth “Betty” Gaine Keegan
A longtime resident of Washington, DC died peacefully on the 14thof August, 2015 at her home surrounded by her children. Betty died of pancreatic cancer worsened by the complications of Alzheimer’s. She was eighty-six.
Betty was born on April 13, 1929 in Neptune City, New Jersey. She came from a family of eight, born to John Gaine and Elizabeth Fitzgerald who immigrated to the United States from Kenmare in Co. Kerry, Ireland. She attended St. Rose’s School, in Belmar, New Jersey from kindergarten through High School. In 1950, she graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. with a double major in mathematics and chemistry, and with a praise-worthy record as a member of the basketball, field hockey, and tennis teams.
She met Robert Keegan, who became her husband of thirty-seven years, when he was an undergraduate attending the Catholic University of America on the GI Bill. While in College, Betty was recruited by the newly created Central Intelligence Agency. Employed as an Intelligence Analyst for three years, she then left Government service to marry Robert in 1953 to start a family. Betty returned to Government service in the 1970s when she took a job with the Department of Labor. She eventually retired from Government service in 1999 when she left the Environmental Protection Agency.
She was adept at the violin and piano – as a young woman she played the organ at many local churches and gave piano lessons. She taught a class of advanced mathematics to children at the Annunciation School. Betty’s greatest enjoyment was to watch her children, and all children for that matter, compete in sports and succeed in studies and art. Her house and dining table were open to all children as she made her home and family a focal point for youth, and the development of their happiness.
Betty is preceded in death by her husband, Robert D. Keegan, her son Sean, her sister Patricia Magovern MD, and her sister Margaret Gaine. She is survived by her eight children: Robert (Natalie) Keegan, Mary (Brendan) Magner, Kevin (Mary Sheila) Keegan, Kathleen (Chip) Lindsay, Nancy (Rory) Coakley, Colleen (John) Williams, Eileen (Richard) Reading, and Patrick Keegan. Betty was beloved and will be missed by her nineteen grand children: Kaitlin Keegan; Aoife and Maeve Magner; Matthew, Sheila, and Sean Keegan; Molly, Terry, Gavin, and Finbar Lindsay; Rory (Anne-Marie), Maggie, and Bridget Coakley; Danny, Keegan, Johnny, Sean, and Pudge Williams; and Erin Burns. She is also survived by one great-grandchild, Emmitt Bosley, and her siblings Sr. Virginia Gaine SHCJ, Joan Hutchison, Maureen McGowan, John Gaine Esq., and Patrick Gaine.
Viewings will be held at the DeVol Funeral Home at 2222 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC onTuesday, August 18 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.(Complimentary valet parking provided).Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11am on Wednesday, August 19 at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament at 3630 Quesada St., NW, Washington DC. Internment, following the service, will be at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery at 13801 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20906.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in memory of Betty T. Keegan to: HEROES, Inc. 1200 29thSt., NW, Wash. DC 20007 (heroes.org); and/or, Montgomery Hospice, 1355 Piccard Dr., Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20857 (www.montgomeryhospice.org).