American Patriotic 10

William Magill "Bill" Keelan

June 29, 1927 ~ May 14, 2020 (age 92)


William Magill, “Bill,” Keelan, a resident of Butler, passed away on May 14, 2020 at the age of 92.

Bill was born in Pittsburgh, the second child of the late John and Agnes (Magill) Keelan, on June 29, 1927. Bill’s father died at a young age and Agnes raised three children with help from her sister, Mary, and from the church. Bill was a proud graduate of Central Catholic High School and a World War II veteran. In April of 1945, he enlisted in the US Coast Guard, a Fireman First Class on the USS Breckenridge. After his 1946 discharge, he enrolled in the University of Illinois, where he received a bachelor’s degree.

Bill married the love of his life, Valetta Patricia (Pat) Kelly, on December 27, 1958. They were together until her death in July 2017. They started their family in Pittsburgh, where their three children were born. In 1968 Bill and Pat moved to Butler to be closer to his work at Spang.

Bill excelled in his career as a sales executive, eventually founding St. Clair International Corp Steel Importers. Among his personal accomplishments, he completed four marathons, was an advanced SCUBA diver and accomplished skier, and a cancer survivor. For someone who lost his own father at such an early age, Bill excelled at being a father to his own children and an admired uncle to his many nieces and nephews.

Bill was not loud or ostentatious. He understood the value of simply showing up, quietly, to help others through good times and bad. His daughter Eileen remembers: “he taught his children that the generosity that matters most is the giving of ourselves.” He gave of himself as a Eucharistic minister and volunteer for Butler Memorial Hospital. He also volunteered off and on for many years for Butler Meals On Wheels, where Pat worked for 30 years. His life and Pat’s became enmeshed in the community, and Bill got as much from Butler County as he gave: from soup and sandwich lunches at the Butler Country Club, to Sunday Mass at St. Paul’s, to the classes he enjoyed at BCCC during retirement, to the “Muntz Avenue Open” celebration of mediocre golfers but wonderful neighbors.

Bill and Pat loved to see the world almost as much as they loved home. Most of Bill’s business travel was spent going back and forth by Oldsmobile and airplane to places like Conshohocken, Bethlehem, Chicago and Detroit, selling steel. But for personal travel, he and Pat saw the world, through visits to Turkey, Egypt, Italy, Harbour Island, and Ireland, among others. His children treasure the memories of family vacations to swim the Atlantic in the Outer Banks of NC and to ski icy mountains in New York.

Bill is survived by his children Gill (Memsy), Eileen, and John (Alessia); his six granddaughters, Maggie, Emmaleigh, Julia, Kate, Livia, and Anna; his Cameron, Keelan, Kelly, and Knight nieces, nephews, and in-laws. He is pre deceased by his brother John Gerard (Jerry) Keelan and sister Joann Cameron.

The family will invite friends to celebrate Bill’s life at a later date. Internment will be in Calvary Cemetery, Butler. Arrangements completed by Geibel Funeral Home, 201 East Cunningham St. Butler, PA 16001

In lieu of flowers, his family asks you to consider a donation to the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) Hospice, who cared for Bill so lovingly at the end of his long life. The family would also like to express their appreciation for the loving care (and many back scratches!) he received at New Haven Court, his home for the last three years. In this unprecedented time of worldwide loss, we’d also ask you to consider a small and quiet act of kindness, in memory of the man who always showed up.


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