McKeown, Frederick James
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Mar. 2, 1928 - Apr. 5, 2013
Frederick James McKeown, age 85, a resident of Sarasota, Florida, and recently, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, died quietly at home on April 5, 2013, surrounded by his wife, Lillian Mary McKeown (nee Clark), and their seven loving children. Born March 2, 1928, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Fred is the son of the late Charles and Catherine (nee O'Toole) McKeown and was raised in Brooklyn, New York, and a summer resident of his beloved Lake George, New York.
Fred served his country in the Navy as an Aviation Technician's Mate, 2nd Class, stationed in Point Mugu, California. After his honorable discharge in 1948, Fred completed his education, studying engineering, physics and mathematics at St. John's University and New York University. Fred held top secret clearances during his post-military career and was selected to work with multiple defense contractors, helping to develop and perfect ballistic missile systems to defend the United States. He developed systems that were deployed on the B-52 bomber, and also helped design the guidance and trajectory systems on the Saturn V rocket that has supported America's space program for many years.
Fred changed the focus of his work after a number of years, preferring to devote himself to scientific discovery and industrial innovation. He worked for both Sperry Rand and Otis Elevator, becoming involved with high priority government problem-solving assignments. He eventually tired of governmental bureaucracy and chose to devote his energy and intellect to the preservation and protection of the world's natural resources. He was the founder of McKeown & Franz, an environmental consulting firm that engaged in evaluating and documenting the impact of civil and private development projects on the natural environment in which they were planned.
Fred held a deep and abiding Catholic faith throughout his life, serving as a young man as an altar server and later, becoming involved with the youth and athletic programs at St. Brendan's Parish in Brooklyn, New York, where he raised his family. Fred loved to tend his garden and was an avid boating enthusiast; one of his favorite things was seeing his family together, either celebrating a special family event or just relaxing together by the lake.
In reflecting on his life in an interview conducted by his granddaughter, Maggie, in 2011, Fred recounted how lucky he felt for the things that filled his life with joy, first among them his wife of 62 years, Lil, and the pride he felt in the accomplishments of his family: six daughters, a son, seventeen grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren. Teaching them all to love the beauty of nature in the Adirondack Mountains and to enjoy Lake George was a cornerstone of his life.
Fred is survived by his wife and their seven children, Kathy Beilouny, Patricia McCann, Mary Beth Tierno, Maureen Larkin, Meg Court, Carolyn Fischer and Rick McKeown, and their families.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers charitable contributions in his memory to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, P.O. Box 27106, New York, NY, 10087-7106 or at the link below:
Please send condolences via:www.catagnusfuneralhomes.com
Published in Herald Tribune from Apr. 9 to Apr. 10, 2013