IONE LACY KEENAN

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IONE LACY KEENAN - ESSEX JUNCTION - Ione Lacy Keenan, age 91, of Essex Junction, was reunited with the love of her life, Ed, on Feb. 12, 2013. Ione, the daughter of Leonard and Aileen (Wilsey) Lacy, was born on Sept. 21, 1921, at her parents' home in Windsor. With the exception of two years, she was educated in the Windsor school system, graduating as valedictorian from Windsor High School in 1939. She entered the University of Vermont, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1944. While at UVM, she was a member of Sigma Gamma Sorority, Omicron Nu, and Phi Beta Kappa. It was her pleasure to be a member of the AllGirl Band under the direction of Joseph Lechnyr after the ROTC band was called up for active duty. On Sept. 16, 1944, Ione married Dr. Edward A. Keenan Jr. at the First Methodist Church in Burlington by Dr. David Reid. The Keenans left immediately for their internships at Ohio State University, followed by Navy service in Memphis, Tenn. While in Memphis, Ione began her life-long career in volunteering, working as an educational aide for 8th grade spastic students at the Shrine School for Crippled Children. After Dr. Keenan's discharge from the Navy, the couple spent a year at St. Luke's Hospital in Newburgh, N.Y., for Ed's medical residency, and then opened a medical practice in Brandon, where they lived for four years. In 1951, they opened an office in Essex Junction, where they have lived ever since, except for a two year stint of Navy service at Pearl Harbor during the Korean War. During their 40 years in active practice, Ione worked as a medical assistant in the office. For one year, she taught dietetics to student nurses in the Department of Home Economics at UVM. Ione was predeceased in 2011 by her husband of 66.5 years, Dr. Edward A. Keenan Jr. In celebration of their golden wedding anniversary, they gave the large cross-and-flame stained glass window at their church, the Grace United Methodist Church in Essex Junction. Ione is survived by her three children, David and his wife, June, of Essex, Kathy of Burlington, and Lynn of Colchester; two grandchildren, Brian and his wife, Laura, and daughter, Jordanne, of Oklahoma City, Okla., and Lara and her husband, Andrew Rash of Colchester; nieces and nephews, Donald and James Ricker, Carol Fixsen, and Jane Wade; and several cousins, and a host of friends. Ione was always active in the life of her church and in United Methodist Women where she served in many offices at local, district, and conference levels. She also served on many boards and agencies at conference level and was always an ardent advocate for the Summer Learning Fellowship School of Christian Mission - which she attended annually for nearly 50 years, and during which she served as coordinator, business manager, and dean as well as a planning team member. She was a lay member to Troy Annual Conference for many years and was a delegate to the World Methodist Conference in Honolulu. She was also a Certified Lay Speaker and, as such, led worship services in many local churches. For 10 years, Ione was a volunteer in the Howard Mental Health IMPAC program, working on a weekly basis with former residents of Waterbury State Hospital and Brandon Training School in areas of music, crafts, and meal preparation. For 22 years, she volunteered in the Fanny Allen Thrift Shop and in the Pastoral Care Department at the Fanny Allen Campus of the FAHC. For the past several years, she was a member of the Crafty Hands, Warm Hearts group at RSVP. She was also a member of the Essex Junction Senior Citizens, Homemakers Group of the American Home Economics Association, and the International Order of King's Daughters and Sons. For many years she was active with the UVM Alumni Council in planning class reunions, serving as Vice-President of the class of 1944. For the past several years she enjoyed a story-sharing class which opened the way for many memories. Ione enjoyed music, writing, travel, the theater, crafts, dancing to Big Band music, flea markets, reading and study - but most of all she enjoyed interacting with people. Ione's family wishes to express its extreme gratitude to the staff at The Shores at Shelburne Bay; the volunteers and staff at The Vermont Respite House; and the staff at Hospice of the Champlain Valley (especially Mary Loney, R.N.) for the loving and compassionate care Ione received during her last month. A memorial service will be held at the Grace United Methodist Church, 130 Maple Street, Essex Junction, on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at 11 a.m. There will be no visiting hours, but the family will meet with friends at a reception and luncheon following the service. Burial will follow in the Ascutney Cemetery in Windsor at the family's convenience. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Memorial Fund of the Grace United Methodist Church or to the Brownell Library.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Feb. 13, 2013
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