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DANIEL M. KEYES Jr. Obituary
KEYES, Daniel M., Jr. 1918-2012 The Honorable Daniel M. Keyes, Jr., died peacefully in his sleep on Friday, October 19, 2012, at home. He was born in Springfield on October 25, 1918, the oldest child of the late Daniel M. Keyes, a Captain in the Springfield Police Department and Mary A. Griffin who came to the United States from Lispole, County Kerry, Ireland. Keyes was educated in the Springfield Public Schools and graduated from Classical High School in 1935 at the age of 16. He earned a BA from Boston College in 1939 and graduated from Boston University Law School in 1942. It is believed that he was the first Springfield native to attend Boston College. His life-long pride and loyalty to his beloved BC is legendary. Keyes was a life-long Democrat. For over 50 years he was involved in local, state, and national politics as campaign manager, advisor, and strategist. His first involvement was at the age of 15 when he worked in Congressman Eddie Boland's first successful campaign for Massachusetts House of Representatives. In 1942 he was appointed acting Register of Deeds for Hampden County filling a vacancy when Register of Deeds Boland enlisted in the armed forces. In 1942 at the age of 25, he was state-wide campaign manager for Maurice Tobin's successful campaign for Governor. In 1944 Keyes was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago which nominated President Franklin Roosevelt for a fourth term. The convention also rejected Vice President Henry Wallace and nominated Harry S. Truman as Vice President. In 1960 he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles where they nominated John F. Kennedy for President and Lyndon Johnson for Vice President. Along with Congressman Boland, Keyes conducted the Kennedy for President Campaign in the State of Ohio. Again in 1964, as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, he cast his vote to nominate Lyndon Johnson for President and Hubert Humphrey for Vice-President. That year, after the election, he was named to the Electoral College to confirm these choices. Keyes had the honor of nominating Humphrey for Vice President. In 1946, only 4 years after graduating from law school, Keyes was appointed presiding judge of the Chicopee District Court. At 28 years of age he was the youngest judge ever to be appointed in the history of the Commonwealth. He was also selected by the Chief Justice of the Superior Court to sit on jury cases in the Superior Court. In 1978 Keyes was appointed by President Carter to the Commission for the Nomination of Candidates to the Federal Appeals Court for the First Circuit. In 1950, with Attorney Edward L. Donnellan, he established the law firm of Keyes and Donnellan, a general practice with emphasis on eminent domain law, medical malpractice, general tort law and criminal law. A notable case involving the eminent domain claim for damages by the City of Chicopee against the Federal Government for taking city owned property for the development of Westover Field. In 1960 Keyes resigned from his judgeship to practice law full time. Keyes was a member of the legendary 1934 New England Champion American Legion Post 21 Baseball Team that travelled to North Carolina to participate in a tournament for the National Championship. When informed that one of their team members would not be able to play because of his African-American ethnicity, the team voted unanimously to withdraw and return home. He was a member of the Boston College Shaw Society, The President's Circle, and The Fides Club. He was a former member and chairman of the Holyoke Community College Board of Trustees. He was a founding member and first chairman of the Community College Foundation. He was a charter member of the Springfield Boy's Club Alumni Association and was their President for two terms. He was a life member of Springfield Lodge of Elks #61 and a life member of the Knights of Columbus. In 1978, he was named Springfield Marshall of the Holyoke Saint Patrick's Day Parade. He received the Governor's Citation on behalf of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in recognition of dedicated service to the Springfield Community. He received the Distinguished Service Award from Holyoke Community College for "generous and devoted service" to the College. He received the Fred E. Stephenson Award from the Springfield Boy's Club for "long and devoted service to the boys". He received the Saint Thomas Moore Medal, awarded by the Saint Thomas Moore Society in recognition of being an outstanding Catholic member of the Bar. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Springfield Democratic City Committee for "excellence as a jurist and outstanding work on behalf of the Democratic Party". He received the Governor's Citation "in recognition of your courage and leadership as a member of the American Legion Baseball Team of Springfield". He received the Civil Right's Pioneer Award from the Boston Area Church League "for your honorable and courageous act on behalf of equal rights for our people". He was most proud to be a charter member of the Board of Directors of the Edward P. Boland Scholarship Fund, which has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to students from the Second Congressional District to further their education. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Gertrude E. (Dewire) Keyes, who died October 2, 2006, and his five younger siblings, William J. Keyes, Helen M. Barkman, Rev. Edward J. Keyes, Regina Burnham, and Thomas R. Keyes. He will be greatly missed by all that knew and loved him, including his six children: Martha M. Ahr (David J.) of North Palm Beach, Florida; Nancy M. Keyes of Springfield; Kathleen M. Mauthner (John) of Hobe Sound, Florida; G. Elizabeth Scrivener (James) of Alexandria, Virginia; Daniel M. Keyes, III (Janice) of Springfield; & Deborah M. Keyes Tagliaferri (Arthur) of Weymouth, his eleven grandchildren: Kerryn Ahr Cole (Joe); Kristin Ahr; David J. Ahr, Jr.; Meredith Ahr Goldman (Greg); Stephen Ahr; Shannon Keyes Manning (Skip); Betsey Keyes Kiehn (Tom); Daniel Keyes; Colleen Keyes (Richard Rossi); Kelly Scrivener Alzer (Mo); and Jak Scrivener; his eight great grandchildren: Daniel Cole, Delaney Cole, Patrick Cole, Erin Koch, David Koch, Richard Rossi, Jr., Caroline Manning, and Emma Kiehn. Visiting hours are Wednesday, October 24, 2012 from 4-7 pm at Sampson's Chapel of the Acres Funeral Home, 21 Tinkham Rd., SPRINGFIELD, MA. The funeral is Thursday, October 25, 2012 beginning from Sampson's Chapel of the Acres Funeral Home at 8:15 a.m., followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in Sacred Heart Church, 395 Chestnut St., Springfield, concluding with Rites of Committal at Gate Of Heaven Cemetery, 421 Tinkham Rd., Springfield. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Edward P. Boland Scholarship Fund, 67 Market St., P.O. Box 9035, Springfield MA 01102-9035.

Published in The Boston Globe on Oct. 22, 2012
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