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Maureen McKeown

Maureen C. McKeown (Canning)

October 1, 1937 - November 28, 2019
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Obituary

Maureen C. (Canning) McKeown, age 82, a longtime Chelmsford resident, passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 28, 2019. She spent the last week surrounded by her loving children, and many members of her large extended family. She was the beloved wife of the late James J. McKeown.

She was born in Bronx, New York, on October 1, 1937, and was the daughter of the late Michael and Marion (Mullane) Canning.

Maureen was a graduate of Saint Helena’s High School in the Bronx, where she was a standout student, Editor of the school newspaper, “The Maralena”, member of the Student Council, Drama and French clubs. She earned a scholarship to study at the Wood School followed by employment at Dancer, Fitzgerald, Sample Ad Agency. She and Jim were married in 1958, and started their family life in North Carolina, a great adventure for two kids from the Bronx.

Maureen and Jim settled in Chelmsford in 1963. Over the years, she became an active member of the Chelmsford community through many years of service at St. Mary’s Catholic Church teaching CCD and Marriage Preparation, as a lector and Eucharistic minister; family membership at the Chelmsford Swim and Tennis Club; hosting her many beloved book clubs and gourmet dining groups. Maureen for many years gave her time and talent working for the St. Vincent de Paul Society helping many in her parish. She developed a love of sports actively pursuing her interests in tennis and running.

After raising her children, she re-entered the work force as Assistant to the Executive Director of the Lowell Chamber of Commerce. She then worked as Office Manager for Chelmsford Dental Associates followed by an opportunity to work as Youth Minister Coordinator at St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart Parish, Lexington where she combined her love of ministry with her organizational and networking skills.

Lastly, in 2010, she founded, and served as President of Table of Plenty of Chelmsford Inc., a non-profit organization that provides community through weekly meals to help alleviate hunger and social isolation. The gift of working with fellow volunteers at Table of Plenty was spritiually rewarding and reminded her of the importance of communal effort. Beyond family and close friends, Maureen strived to bring a sense of belonging to all those with whom she came into contact, in New York, Chelmsford, and the last two years in Acton at Robbins Brook Assisted Living.

Her proudest achievement was raising her family, and witnessing her legacy through three ensuing generations. She is survived by her children; Mark McKeown, and his wife, Susan (Hilton) McKeown, of Woodbury, MN, and their four children, Daniel and his wife Rachael (Ward) McKeown, and their children, Kieran and Maeve, Stephen and his wife Anna (Wood) McKeown and their child Georgia, Peter, and Anna; Michele (McKeown) Fisher and her husband, Christian Fisher, of Concord, MA, and four children, Heather, Amanda, Margaret, and Nathaniel; Christopher McKeown, of Concord, MA, and his five children, Quinn, Clare, Thomas, Clementine, and Teddy; Valerie (McKeown) Coursen and her husband Jeff Coursen, of Narberth, PA, and their three children, Chad, Sam, and Amelia; Pamela (McKeown) Murray, and her husband, Steve Murray, of Chelmsford, MA, and their two children Andrew and Mckenna.

Beside her parents and husband James, Maureen was predeceased by two siblings early in her life, Roderick and Sheila Anne Canning, and her daughter-in-law, Mary (Cooney) McKeown, wife of Christopher.

Visiting Hours will be held on Friday, December 6, from 4:00 - 8:00 pm at Blake Chelmsford Funeral Home, 24 Worthen St., Chelmsford. Her Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday, December 7, 9:00 am, at St. Mary’s Parish, 25 North Rd., Chelmsford. KINDLY MEET AT THE CHURCH. Interment to follow at Pine Ridge Cemetery, Chelmsford. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Maureen's name to Table of Plenty in Chelmsford, Inc., P.O. Box 321, Chelmsford, MA 01824 or tableofplentyinchelmsford.org.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    December 6, 2019 | 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    When
    December 6, 2019 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Location
    Blake Chelmsford Funeral Home
    Address
    24 Worthen Street
    Chelmsford, MA 01824
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Mass of Christian Burial

    December 7, 2019 | 9:00am
    When
    December 7, 2019 9:00am
    Location
    St. Mary Parish
    Address
    25 North Road
    Chelmsford, MA 01824
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    KINDLY MEET AT THE CHURCH
  • Interment

    December 7, 2019 | 10:30am
    When
    December 7, 2019 10:30am
    Location
    Pine Ridge Cemetery
    Address
    130 Billerica Road
    CHELMSFORD, MA 01824
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

Condolences

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Private Condolence
FG

Francine M Gagnon

Posted at 11:44am
Many will remember Maureen whether it be her service/ ministry to church and community (Table of Plenty). Her warm and enthusiastic embrace of people was evident in her many friendships and participation in social gatherings. The "Gourmet" group comes to mind. Our personal memories of Maureen --including Jim and family-- will always include joyful family February ski trips in Vermont where we share company. It is with sadness that we witnessed recently Maureen's great suffering and losses, all of which she faced with exemplary courage. May she now know His Love and Peace. Blessings and consolation to her family.
Francine, Alden Gagnon and family
LH

Lillian Hughes

Posted at 03:56pm
Dear McKeowns,

I was one of the many many youth in Maureen's St. Mary's Youth Ministry and she always held a special place for me. She was, as my mom just put it "encouraging yet firm" and we loved her for it. I always felt Mrs. McKeown saw me as a full person and not just a kid and that means everything to a 16-year-old. And at the same time, you knew she wouldn't accept any guff. If she was going to respect you that was based firmly on the premise that you owed her, and everyone else in YM the same respect. It was an excellent lesson in how to live life and most especially in how to get along in an organization where you have to be friendly with many and still get projects completed. She always knew the right amount of responsibility to offer us and the right amount of oversight to provide. The volunteer efforts and many performances she led us in were probably better preparation for work life than any other single thing I did in high school.

It is with great sadness that I heard of her passing and I hope this memory of her is just one more that will help you know how deeply and long her good works live on.

All best,
Lillian (Mongeau) Hughes
St. Mary's YM Class of 2000
MB

Margot & Don Boucher

Posted at 01:53pm
Dear McKeown Family,
Margot and I are so sad to learn that your Mom passed away. It would take volumes to write about the half century relationship we had with your Mom and Dad. At this moment, it's difficult to think of any family who has a greater luxury than all of you to have so many awesome remembrances of their Mom to soften the sadness and emptiness of losing a loved one. The best testimonial to your Mom that Margot and I could ever express is that we have become better persons for having known her and having had her in our lives as a personal friend. We are not sending prayers for your Mom because we know where she is. Instead, we should all ask her to watch over us.
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