Francis Arthur ("Frank") Keeley, Jr. died on February 8, 2014 at the age of 78, from complications brought on by Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Frank was born on September 2, 1935, the first son of Francis A. Keeley, Sr. and Mildred Keeley of Philadelphia, PA. Frank served in the United States Army for over 21 years, enlisting immediately after high school. He started his career as General H.W.O. Kinnard's radio operator in the Airborne but quickly rose through the ranks and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 4, aeronautical engineer and helicopter pilot. In 1963, while stationed in Germany, he met his wife, Geraldine Judith Hunt, and began a romance that lasted 50 years. Frank's Army career included two tours of duty in Vietnam, a Bronze Star, the Air Medal and a host of other citations and commendations. After retiring from the Army, Frank eventually settled his family down in Petaluma in 1973. Frank loved to sing. His clear and deep tone became the mainstay of every hymn at St. James Catholic Church. Frank was also a well-known fixture at Petaluma Swim Club competitions; cheering his sons on with his signature booming voice. Frank was quick to smile and laugh; and always took the time to share a new joke with others. He will be remembered as a devoted husband, loving father and faithful friend. Frank is survived by his wife, Geraldine (Jerry) Keeley; his three sons, Frank (Claire), Mike (Kristen) and Jay; and his grandchildren, Jack and Avery, all living in Northern California. Friends and family are invited to attend a Funeral Mass on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 1:00 p .m. at St. James Catholic Church, 125 Sonoma Mountain Parkway, Petaluma, CA 94954. A Visitation will be held on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 from 6:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m. at PARENT-SORENSEN MORTUARY & CREMATORY, 850 Keokuk Street, Petaluma, CA 94952 with a Vigil Service at 7:00 p.m..
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from Feb. 17 to Feb. 18, 2014