Mary Hickey Keenan, 93, made music her ministry by singing with the choir for over 40 years

PortCityDaily.com is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Mary Hickey Keenan
Mary Hickey Keenan

Mary Hickey Keenan Mary Hickey Keenan died peacefully Friday, June 10, 2016, at her home. Born November 22, 1922, in Jacksonville, Fla., she was preceded in death by her parents, Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Hickey and Estelle Hickey; two siblings; and her beloved husband, Frank T. Keenan.

As an ‘Army brat’ Mary lived and worked in many cities before meeting her Navy man, Frank, at a USO dance in Washington, D.C. After a whirlwind courtship, they married on January 12, 1946.

They moved to Kentucky and welcomed a son that same year. A year later, a job with General Electric moved the young family to Washington state, where they welcomed nine more children; then to New York, adding two more children. They moved their family briefly to Alabama and Mississippi, where their 13th child was born. In 1968, they welcomed their last child in Wilmington, the town they would finally call home.

Mary was a member of St. Theresa Catholic Church and a founding member of St. Mark Catholic Church. Mary participated in several ministries, including the Ladies Guild, the Lion’s Mane, Comfort Committee and Bridge Club. Mary’s favorite ministry was music, and she sang in the choir for over 40 years. Even after the death of Frank in 2000, Mary continued to travel, attend the theater and ballet with friends and make regular lunch and dinner dates with her children and grandchildren.

Mary is survived by her seven sons, Tom (Lechon), George, Robert, James (Janet), Frank Jr., John (Shelley) and Mike (Diane) Keenan; seven daughters, Mary (Jeff) Mayberry, Teresa Ulsh, Pat (Steve) Sauer, Fran (Steve) Tabor, Annie (John) Osborne, Cissy Keenan and Maggie (Boney) Ives; 30 grandchildren, Kelly (Frank), Kipp (Elizabeth), Robert (Libera), Scott, Kristen (Cam), Amy (Brian), Joma, Emily, Steve, Tim, Richard (Kerrin), James, Stephen Lee (Liz), Jacob (Bess), Edward, David, Adam, Keenan (Chris), Forrest (Elizabeth), Logan, Corinne, Melissa (Bogdan), Tom (Jill), McKenzie, Greyson, David, Riley, Joey (Devon), and Kristina; 31 great-grandchildren, Mary Catheryn, Keenan, Zachary, Jordan, Tierney, Logan, Taylor, Luca, Nicodemus, Amelia, Ila, Adelaide, Simon, Josefina, Kenleigh, Gibson, Seth, Aidan, Connor, Colin, Madison, Brendon, Kayla, Guthrie, Ida, Grace, Patrick, Matei, Olivia, Eva, Samson, Evan and Hadley; and brother, Joe Hickey, of Allison Park, Pa.

A vigil will be held from 6 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, at Coble Ward Funeral Home, Oleander Drive. Visitation will follow until 8 p.m. A Mass of the resurrection will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 15, at St. Mark Catholic Church, Eastwood Road.

The family wishes to thank mom’s medical team for such compassionate care.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation, or Babcock Center Foundation, 2725 Banny Jones Ave., West Columbia, SC 29170.

To share online condolences with the family, click here.

To view the full list of Port City Daily obituaries, click here.

Comments