Farewell John P. "Jack" Keating Jr. - 235th Engineer
#1

Unfortunately this section is seeing more and more posts, these past few weeks and months... And so it is with regret that I pass along the latest news. Below is a letter I received this morning, and along with it, my reply.

 

Hello Marion,

 

I wanted to let you know that my grandfather Jack (John) P. Keating Jr. of the 235th Combat Engineers died this past Wednesday December 29th. He served from January 1943 - December 1945.

 

This past summer, shortly before he got seriously ill you passed on to the contact info for Max Jonah and Jack was able to get back in touch with some of his army buddies which really made him happy. Thanks for this web site and all that you do.

 

Here is a link to the obituary:

 

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/fitchburg...p;pid=147504694

 

Best,

Maureen Leary

 

---------------

John P. "Jack" Keating Jr.

longtime postal worker, and local coach; 87

 

LEOMINSTER -- John "Jack" P. Keating Jr., 87, of Leominster, formerly of Lincoln St., Fitchburg, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 29, 2010, in the Highlands.

 

Jack was born in Fitchburg on December 2, 1923, son of the late John P. and Blanche (Poirier) Keating.

 

He was a decorated veteran of World War II, who was very proud of his service in the United States Army.

 

After the War, he married his sweetheart, Pat, and they were happily married for 62 years.

 

He worked for the U.S. Government, as a letter carrier for many years.

 

Jack coached for Babe Ruth for 25 years, and also Biddy League Basketball. After his retirement from coaching, he continued to coach the Weathervane Team of the Challenger Little League.

 

In his retirement, he loved spreading joy delivering flowers for DeBonis and Davin Florist. Jack was well known for his wonderful sense of humor and loved to entertain with his many jokes and stories.

 

He leaves a daughter, Katherine P. Champagne and her husband, Mark R. of Fitchburg; three grandchildren, Maureen Leary of Munich, Germany, Brett Leary of Fitchburg, Bethany Zrate and her husband, Sean of Fitchburg; a sister-in-law, Therese "Terry" Bodo of Leominster; many nieces, nephews, and loyal friends.

 

Jack was predeceased by his wife, Rose "Pat" (Fregeau) Keating, a daughter, Colleen Keating Lasky, a brother, Paul Keating, and a sister, Theresa Hart.

 

KEATING -- The funeral will be held from Brandon Funeral Home, 305 Wanoosnoc Rd. on Monday, January 3, 2010, with a Mass at 10:00 A.M. in St. Bernard's Parish at St. Camillus Church, 333 Mechanic St., Fitchburg. Burial will follow in St. Bernard's Cemetery. Calling hours will be from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. on Sunday, January 2, 2010 in the Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Beacon of Hope, 62 West St., Leominster, MA 01453 or to Arc Community Services, 564 Main Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420.

 

Published in Sentinel & Enterprise on December 31, 2010

 

=====================================================

 

Dear Maureen:

 

I am so very sorry to hear of your grandfather's passing this last week. Another one of our great WWII veterans has joined ranks with their brothers; a sad but inevitable part of life. As you know, their numbers are decreasing with great alarm, and it seems as of late, I am made aware of another loss on an almost weekly basis. Sigh!

 

However, as I read your sad news, I was made to smile because I was able to bring some joy to your grandfather by bringing him back together with some of his old buddies from the unit. I am delighted to have played a part in this, and I know Max and his fellow engineers were thrilled too, even if it was for such a short period of time.

 

Please pass along my condolences to the rest of the family. I shall place your letter on the forum, along with his obituary.

 

I hope you will keep in touch from time to time. All my best to you and yours.

 

Warmly,

Marion

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"
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