James William Keating, beloved husband of the late Patricia Keenan Keating, passed away peacefully on Friday, September 25, 2020, surrounded by family. A long-time resident of Wellesley Hills, MA, Jim is survived by his three children, a son-in-law and daughter-in-law; Alison Keating of New Canaan, CT, Leslie Keating and Peter Cawley of Westport, CT, and Mark and Laurie Bartlett Keating of Weston, MA; and his eight grandchildren, Peter, Geoffrey and Jay Cawley; Cuyler, James and Chase Hedlund; and Grant and Myles Keating. Jim is predeceased by his wife of 65 years, Patricia Keenan Keating, and his sister Margaret Hoffman of New York City.
Born in North Hempstead, New York in 1930, Jim was the oldest child of Joseph and Elizabeth Keating. Jim grew up in Queens Village where he met Pat, the love of his life, in first grade. They were married in Queens on September 27, 1952, and moved to Lampasas, Texas, where Jim served in the United States Army at Fort Hood. They moved from Lampasas to Wilmington, Delaware, then to Mountainside, NJ, and ultimately to Wellesley Hills where they lived for 37 years.
Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now the New York University Tandon School of Engineering) and a Master of Business Administration from Rutgers University. At Brooklyn Polytechnic, he was the captain of the swim team. He began his career at DuPont, and also worked at Avon and Shaklee. In 1983, Jim and Pat moved to Wellesley Hills, and Jim began working at Boston University as VP of Facilities Management and Planning until his retirement dinner in 2008 where he was honored in recognition of his 25 years of service. He was an active member of his community and was elected to the School Board for Mountainside, New Jersey where he was at the vanguard of implementing a program for gifted students. He was fiercely devoted to his wife, children and grandchildren. He enjoyed theatre and travel with Pat, listening to the great female jazz vocalists Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, and his close bond with his children and grandchildren brought him great joy. An enthusiastic lifelong learner, Jim conquered new frontiers like Facebook and text messaging to stay connected to his grandchildren, religiously followed economic and political news, and championed his right to vote, never missing a single state or national election. Jim was a passionate competitor and natural athlete. He regularly enjoyed bridge, golf, and tennis well into his eighties at the Wellesley Country Club where he formerly served on the Board and House Committee. He was also a lifelong fan of the New York Giants and sometimes found it challenging to live in Patriots Nation, but it always made for spirited conversation, especially at his Monday bridge game. He will be missed by all.
The family gives special thanks to the physicians and nurses at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and to all the nurturing caregivers at Celtic Angels, whose dedication, skill, and compassion were remarkable. Funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the National Down Syndrome Society, 8 E. 41st Street, 8th Floor, NY, NY 10017 or at www.ndss.org