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Obituary: John Keator

The Berkshire Eagle from October 24 to October 25, 2011
John F.X. Keator 1965 – 2011 WASHINGTON

John F.X. Keator, 45, of Johnson Hill Road, Washington, formerly of Lenox, died Saturday October 22, 2011 at his home. After an eighteen-month battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), he passed peacefully surrounded by his wife, Georgette, and daughters, Cassidy and Alex, while watching the Bruins game.

John was born in Camden, NJ on December 5, 1965 to George and Sheila Keator of Lenox. He was a graduate of the New York Military Academy in Cornwall-on-the-Hudson, NY after attending St. Joseph Central High School in Pittsfield. An avid outdoorsman, John attended Colorado Mountain College and was a 1992 graduate of Eastern Washington University, where he received his BA degree in Outdoor Recreation. While in college, he met Georgette, his wife and love of his life. Although he played football, his loyalty lay with hockey, the Boston Bruins, and watching his daughters dance and play soccer.

John’s love for the outdoors was present in every aspect of his life. He achieved the rank Eagle Scout and was a proud member of the Lenox Troop 55. John valued hard work and lived by the saying, “you reap what you sow.” For 14 years John worked at Berkshire Farm School for Boys in Canaan, NY as a recreational therapist for at-risk boys. For the last four years he worked as a carpenter with his lifelong friend and chosen brother, Thomas Wehner. John was especially proud of his annual “Pumpkin Walk,” which he generously put on for the community with his wife, daughters, and friends that combined his talent for pumpkin carving with his love of a good bonfire. John’s other hobby was maple sugaring and he lovingly shared his Crane Hill maple syrup with many throughout the years.

John leaves his best friend and wife of 19 years, Georgette, and his two daughters, Cassidy and Alexandra. In addition to his parents, he leaves six siblings and their spouses, David and Joanne Keator, Mary Keator, Frederick and Renee Keator, Matthew and Hannah Keator all of Lenox; Bridget and Leif Thomsen of Dedham, and Timothy and Karen Keator of Park Ridge, NJ. John was predeceased by his younger sister, Katie, this past May. He was the loving “Uncle John-John” to; Mari, Sophia, Christopher, Madeleine, Michela, Daley, Ehan, Gabriela, Maximilian, Harrison, Charlie, Charlize, Coleman, and Viggo John.

FUNERAL NOTICE: Funeral services for John F.X. Keator will be held Wednesday October 26, with a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10:30 A.M., at St. Ann Church celebrated by the Rev. Christopher J Waitekus, Pastor, with Reverend Warren Savage of Westfield as homilist. Following the funeral service a celebration of John’s life will be held at Mazzeo’s Ristorante on 1015 South Street in Pittsfield. There are no calling hours and burial will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of John F.X. Keator are asked to be made to Compassionate Care ALS, PO Box 1052, West Falmouth, MA 02574 or through the ROCHE FUNERAL HOME. Compassionate Care provided outstanding assistance and support to John and his family throughout the past 18 months.