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George Keator, 85

Dear Dad,

Our hearts are heavy and we miss you already. Feb. 1, 2021, when you slipped from this mortal world was a difficult day for all of us.  Sadly, this is the last letter that we will write to you.

Growing up in Walden, NY your focus was small town, family and patriotism.  The sun rose and set around you in your parent's eyes. Frederick and Josephine O'Donnell Keator as well as your brothers, Frederick and Raymond, could not have been more proud of your many accomplishments. As a scholar/athlete, you were the first in the family to attend college and how excited they were to attend your graduation from the College of the Holy Cross in 1957. 

We know how important your country was to you and by joining the Marine Corp you were able to rise to the rank of Captain and wear the uniform like your father and brothers before you.  Although you met Mom while you were in college that was the time when you started your "post office romance" as Grandma Nesbit would call it.  You hadn't asked her yet but you knew you were going to marry her. Sheila was absolutely the love of your life. 
July 2, 1961, started your life as a married couple and it was always exciting. You had a dream a minute.  Remember the racehorses, the farm, family trips, all those sporting events?  How about the trip to the dude ranch with the grandchildren?  So many fun memories.

Excelling in your career with Sikorsky & Itek, your entrepreneurial spirit was a strong pull and in 1967 you moved your young family to Lenox so you could start your small printing shop and newspaper.  It was always a family affair and we have many memories and stories of silk screening bumper stickers, stapling raffle tickets, collating
cookbooks or delivering papers, as we all participated.  

Your master's in theology from The Elms College and acceptance into the diocese of Springfield Diaconate program started a whole new journey for you.  Service was always a theme but to combine your faith with your service made you so happy.  As the first permanent deacon assigned to St. Ann, St. Vincent DePaul & St. Patrick's parishes, you thrived in your quiet ministry.  For almost 30 years you were a strong and steady example of faith.  No matter how many times we heard it, we loved your "Twelve Days of Christmas" homily.
Thank you Dad for all the lessons you taught us through your living example of your faith, your patriotism, your hard work and dedication to our family and our community. Mari, Sophia, Madeleine, Cassidy, Alex, Daley, Ehan, Gabriela, Maximilian, Harrison, Charlie, Colman, Race,
Charlize, Viggo, Gracelyn and Corbin are going to miss their "Grandpa."  Skads of nieces and nephews will miss their "Uncle George" and so many will miss "Deacon George."  Mom will miss you most of all.  We take comfort in knowing that you are now with our John and Katie.

Love you always,

David and Joanne, Mary, Georgette, Frederick and Renee, Matthew and Hannah, Bridget, Timothy and Karen.

COVID has been cruel to so many and we are heartbroken that we can't gather for a more traditional celebration at this time.  Deacon George will lay in repose on the altar at St. Ann, Lenox, MA  on Friday, February 5th, from 8 AM – 8 PM for those who would like to stop, say a prayer and sign the book of remembrance. Unfortunately, the family won't be able to be there to grieve and share with you.  The family will gather for a private funeral on Saturday, February 6th, at 10:30 AM which will be live-streamed from the following link:  Burial will follow in the family plot at a later date.  Those who wish are welcome to write a note to the family and send it to 218 Main St, Lenox, MA 01240.

Obituary Provided By: Roche Funeral Home

Recollections & Sympathy For the Family
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Frederick/Renee and David/Joanne, Our sincere condolences for the loss of your father. He must have been such a wonderful man and a great father/grandfather to you and your families. May the memories of him live on forever. Hope you all get through this difficult time, and hope you are good and healthy otherwise. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Bob & Reenie
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