Deacon McKeown ministered in Loveland, Fort Collins
By Denver Catholic Register
Deacon John McKeown
Deacon John Richard McKeown died Oct. 16 at Good Samaritan Village Health Care Center in Loveland. He was 87.
Born Aug. 14, 1925, to Phillip J. and Frances S. (Bilkey) McKeown in Albert Lea, Minn., he was baptized two days later. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became a Seabee during World War II in the Pacific Theater (1943-1946). After the war, he went back to college and graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., in December 1950, with a degree in civil engineering.
On March 26, 1951, he married Mary Belle Beaudin in Ishpeming, Mich. He enjoyed a long professional career in construction and engineering in numerous Midwest states before settling in Loveland, Colo., in 1962. During his career, he earned a professional engineer registration, applying his skills and talents as a leader for multiple large construction and heavy engineering projects.
A member of St. John the Evangelist Church in Loveland, he was ordained a deacon in the Denver Archdiocese on June 16, 1984, by Archbishop James Casey. During his active ministry, Deacon McKeown served as a deacon at St. John the Evangelist and at St. Joseph Church in Fort Collins. On July 3, 2000, he entered retired ministry but continued to assist at St. John the Evangelist until he became ill.
Deacon Joe Donohoe, director of deacon personnel for the archdiocese, described Deacon McKeown as a man totally committed to his diaconal ministry, his family and his Church.
“His presence in the community was inspirational and uplifting,” Deacon Donohoe said.
Deacon McKeown is survived by his wife and his children: Kathleen McKeown (Gary Betow) of Tulsa, Okla.; Timothy J. McKeown (Rosanna) of Westminster, Colo.; Pat Lovato (Joseph) Loveland, Colo.; Margaret McKeown Kelley (Michael) of Greeley, Colo.; eight grandchildren: Faith Betow; Shawna, Connor and Christopher McKeown; Riley, Corey and Shea Lovato Ryan Kelley; and a sister, Helen Louise George (Terry) of Minneapolis, Minn. He was preceded in death by a brother, William Robert “Billy” McKeown, and by a grandson, John Bartholomew Betow.
A rosary, evening prayer and viewing were held Oct. 23. Archbishop Samuel Aquila will celebrate a funeral Mass for Deacon McKeown at St. John the Evangelist, located at 1730 W. 12th St., at 10 a.m. today, Oct. 24.
Memorial contributions in Deacon McKeown’s name may be made to St. John the Evangelist Church for the adoration chapel.