Paul Jay Keenan, 77, of East Ryegate, Vt., died unexpectedly on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 in McIndoe Falls, Vt.
He was born in Haverhill, N.H. on July 12, 1942, a son of Charles H. and Grace (Chamberlin) Keenan and was a graduate of McIndoe Falls Academy, Class of 1961. On June 23, 1962, he married Phyllis J. Hammond. Paul served on a destroyer in the US Navy that was a part of the blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis. During his time in the Navy, he also was involved with an early space capsule splashdown recovery operation.
Following his discharge, Paul worked for the paper mill in East Ryegate before retiring as superintendent after 36 years. When he retired from Kimberly Clark, he purchased a store and established Paul’s Whistle Stop McIndoes which he has owned and operated for the past 18 years.
Paul lived in Monroe, N.H. from 1964 to1989 before building his home in Ryegate. He was a member of both the Monroe and Ryegate Fire Departments, the Monroe Men’s Club, and the Monroe planning board. He was a Little League coach and co-founded the local men’s softball league. Currently, he was a Selectman for the Town of Ryegate, president of the McIndoe Falls Alumni Association, and a member of Ross-Wood Post #20 of the American Legion in Woodsville, N.H. In 2010, he and Phyllis were voted as the Ryegate Citizens of the Year by the Blue Mt. Grange.
As a history buff, he enjoyed researching both regional and local history, particularly related to the logging industry, and genealogy. He liked camping, hunting, and cutting and splitting his own firewood. He enjoyed car rides, especially in his 1962 Buick Skylark convertible. He was Santa Claus for local events and was a clown during July 4th parades. Paul was a great storyteller. At the Lord’s Acre Auction, he was known as a great “overpayer” for cream puffs. Paul will be affectionately remembered by his family as being gentle and generous.
Survivors include his wife, Edna F. (Proulx) Bryant Keenan of East Ryegate, to whom he was married on Aug. 2, 2014; his two sons, David P. Keenan and wife Beverly of Lyndonville, Vt. and Matthew S. Keenan and wife Karen of Dublin, N.H; five grandchildren, Ashley Keenan, Scott Keenan and wife Krissy, Staci Keenan, Danny Keenan, and Andrew Keenan; a sister, Alice Frazer of Monroe; sisters-in-law, Gloria Moore of Monroe, Barbara Farr and husband Maynard of Monroe, Mary Hatch and husband Paul of Enosburg Falls, Vt., and Edith Craig of Arizona; several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was predeceased by his first wife Phyllis (Hammond) Keenan on May 13, 2012; his parents, Charles H. Keenan on Nov. 30, 1995 and Grace (Chamberlin) Keenan on Oct. 6, 1996; his daughter, Pamela J. Keenan on May 31, 1997; his brother, Robert Keenan on Jan. 31, 2015; sister-in-law, Virginia Cinnamond and her husband Dick; and a nephew, Jimmy Keenan on June 29, 2011.
There will be no calling hours.
A memorial service will be on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. at the Ryegate Corner Presbyterian Church with Rev. Harvey Bartlett, officiating.
Burial will be in the Monroe Village Cemetery, Monroe, N.H.
Memorial contributions may be made to the West Barnet Senior Meal Site, PO Box 134, Barnet, VT 05821.
For more information or to sign an online condolence, please visit www.rickerfh.com.
Ricker Funeral Home & Cremation Care of Woodsville is in charge of arrangements.