Keane, Eileen M., age 76, of Lauderdale by the Sea, Florida, passed away on March 7, 2019.
Eileen was born on January 7, 1943 to John and Margaret (Dwyer) Kearney in Brooklyn, NY She was the fourth of six children. Her older siblings were Patricia, Jack and Sheila and her younger siblings were Geri and Brian. She was close to her siblings and from that she developed a very strong sense of family. She and her sister Geri spent a great deal of time together when they were growing up and were always very close.
She started working early in life and in 1961 got her first full time job at Goldman Sachs in New York City at the age of 19. A co-worker thought she might like a young man that also worked there and suggested they meet. He was on vacation, but they connected when he came back. She met Robert (Bob) and they began dating. Less than two years later they got married in November of 1963.
In May of 1967, a daughter arrived, Patricia and in September of 1970, the family was complete with the arrival of a son, Robert Jr.
In January of 1971, the family moved to the city of Pembroke Pines in South Florida. While Eileen missed the family, her older sister Sheila was also in Pembroke Pines. She was an active member the Women’s Club of Pembroke Pines as well as the Jaycee-ettes. She had one condition in the move to Florida and that was a trip back to NY every summer to visit with family.
Eileen loved the holidays because they were times for family gatherings. Although it often seemed “Tuesday” was reason enough for a family get together. Every single person’s birthday was a big celebration, as was Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving and the 4th of July. Being of Irish descent, St. Patrick’s Day was her favorite holiday. She would prepare a traditional Irish dinner and bake an Irish Soda Bread from her mother’s recipe. After dinner she would always dance an Irish Jig and try to teach it to the next generation.
In 1979 the family moved to Sunrise, FL. There they joined a Catholic Church that was starting up, All Saints where they were very involved for many years. Eileen worked for the city of Sunrise, where she started in the Water Department, and eventually became the administrative assistant to the Mayor. She chose to leave the City job and became an activist of sorts in City Politics. Bob ran for office and she was extremely supportive and often researched the issues and would speak at council meetings on his behalf.
In 1998, Eileen and Bob decided to downsize and move to the beach. They sold the house in Sunrise and bought a condo in Lauderdale by the Sea where they planned to spend their retirement years. Early on Eileen enjoyed condo living and made several friends. She and her friends would go shopping, have lunch and go to the local casino. She felt she was truly blessed to have met such nice friends later in life.
Having been one to shy away from flying, her vacation of choice was Cruising. She went on 43 cruises in her life time. One of her favorite cruises was for their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2013. They were joined by 38 family members. It was a wonderful trip and one of her happiest times.
Eileen’s son Robert gave her three grandchildren, Sean, Paige and Shane. She knew as soon as she found out she was going to be a grandmother she wanted to be called “Nana” after her own beloved grandmother and mother. It was with great excitement that she planned their first trip to Disney World. And although it was a bittersweet trip, she was determined to make it a good one and give her grandchildren the same experience she did her children many years earlier.
On October 1st, 2014, Eileen was diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer. At the time of diagnosis, the doctor advised that the average person survived 2-3 years. She beat the odds and lived for another 4 and a half years. She made the best of those years. She went to the Keys twice. Once with her daughter and once with her brother and sister. She went to Disney and Epcot at Christmas with her daughter and nieces. She attended her daughter’s 50th birthday party. She also went on one last cruise with her son and daughter in law.
She was truly loved and admired by all who had a chance to meet her. She was a strong and often determined Irish woman but had a big heart and would do whatever she could to help someone whenever she could. She was a devoted daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, niece and cousin and always beamed when she was amongst family. She will be greatly missed.
Eileen is survived by her husband, Robert M. Keane Sr. daughter, Patricia Keane (David Willett), son, Robert Keane Jr. (Linda Drake), grandchildren Sean Keane, Paige Keane, sister, Geri Devery, brother, Brian Kearney, and is preceded in death by her sister Patricia Butler, brother, John Kearney, sister, Sheila Corless and grandson, Shane Keane.
The family will receive friends, at the Baird Case Jordan Fannin Funeral Home, 4343 North Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308, on Saturday, March 30th from 10:00 a.m.- 12 o'clock noon, with a memorial service at noon, in the funeral home chapel.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.