Martha Keenan
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Sr. Martha Keenan SND


Sister Martha Ann Keenan, 75, of the Sisters of Notre Dame, died Monday, April 4, 2015, in the Notre Dame Long Term Care Center.

Sister was born in Lowell, daughter of James H. and Martha S. (Johnson) Keenan.

After graduating from St. Patrick's High School in Lowell, Sister entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. She was also a graduate of Emmanuel College in Boston.

Sister Martha was a teacher for 35 years in Notre Dame schools in eastern Massachusetts including many years at Holy Rosary School in Lawrence, St. Thomas School in Peabody, and St. Mary School in Beverly.

After her long career in education, Sister earned a master's degree in Human Development and Gerontology at St. Joseph's College in West Hartford. She then shifted her ministry to geriatric health care joining the staff at Mother St. Joseph House in Wakefield and later Julie House in Windsor, Conn.

Sister leaves her brothers, James Keenan, and Robert Keenan and his wife Terry; a sister-in-law, Barbara Keenan; many nieces and nephews, and her sisters in religion, the Sisters of Notre Dame. She was predeceased by her sisters Frances Lepage and Mary Harkins, and her brothers Charles, William and John Keenan.

Calling hours are Wednesday, April 13, starting at 1 p.m. with a prayer service at 2 p.m. at the Notre Dame du Lac Chapel, 555 Plantation St., Worcester. The funeral Mass will follow at 3 p.m. in the chapel. Burial will be in Notre Dame du Lac Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sisters of Notre Dame, 351 Broadway, Everett, MA 02149.

The Athy Memorial Home, Worcester, is directing arrangements.
Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Apr. 9 to Apr. 15, 2016.
Calling hours
01:00 - 03:00 PM
Prayer Service
02:00 PM
Funeral Mass
03:00 PM
Funeral services provided by
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Memories & Condolences
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20 entries
April 25, 2016
Sister Martha was my 4th grade teacher at Holy Rosary school. It was my first year in Catholic schools and I had no idea what to expect. She was very sweet yet very stern when she had to be. It's nice to see she was able to live a full and long life with the education system. She definitely made her imprint in my childhood and I will always remember her as a great teacher.
Dawnmarie Bean
April 12, 2016
When I was in 6th grade at St. Mary, Beverly, I was terrified of Sr. Martha. Her reputation proceeded her (she didn't send kids to the Principal's office, she took care of things herself: remember the 100 spit balls incident?). There was a moment in Religion Class when we were talking about false idols (where we were supposed to say TV, Money, etc.) where a classmate said "Buddha," and I remember being very scared of what would be said next (my parents are Buddhist). Sr. Martha, in an act that I later came to see an expression of profound Christian compassion said, "I don't think so. I've known some very kind Buddhists." I think these words were said for me. I am in the Himalayas now, the Principal of a Buddhist influenced school, where I make sure that our Christian students know how amazing their religious tradition is, and how deeply grateful I am for the education that this tradition gave me. And yes, I make them memorize ALL the prepositions, alphabetically. Sr. Martha, I feel blessed to have had you in my life. You are remembered here, with love. About, above, across, after, against, among....
Pintso Peter Lauenstein Denjongpa
April 12, 2016
Sister Martha was my sixth grade teacher at St. Mary's in Beverly and I am 33 years old now. I can say with 100% honesty that I only vaguely remember most of what I learned in school, with ONE exception--I can list the prepositions in alphabetical order off the top of my head like it was taught to me yesterday. And if one were to ask any of my 27 classmates, they too can recite them at the drop of a hat. I only wish I had known Sister Martha at this age, because I'm sure she would have appreciated a video of a bunch of now 33 year olds reciting their prepositions perfectly. Rest in peace, Sister Martha! My grammar is still amazing thanks to you!
Cecilia Drueding
April 12, 2016
Sr. Martha's reputation as a teacher always preceded her with her high expectations and rigorous work ethic. Only once you made it through her class did you see that those ideals were wrapped with the greatest intent and biggest of hearts. I will never forget the lessons she taught me in 6th grade and carry them with me through life. May you rest in peace, Sister.
Erin Scanlon
April 12, 2016
You were an inspiration to all of us even if we did not know it at the time. You will forever be remembered as an amazing teacher and mentor. May you rest in peace.
Allysa Vanderpot
April 12, 2016
My deepest sympathies! Sr. Martha thank you for being my most influential teacher. You taught with compassion and cared that all your students understood your lesson plans. But more than what we learned in your classroom, your lesson of how to live life! You gave selflessly and devoted yourself to humankind! I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart! I will cherish what you taught me and carry on your spirit!!! May you enter the kingdom and rest in eternal peace! ❤
Shannon Corliss
April 12, 2016
Sister Martha Keenan is the teacher I always say made the biggest difference in my life. I started at St. Mary's in 6th grade and was so far behind everyone, but that wasn't a problem. She had me stay late 3 days a week for extra help and was always willing to help me. I learned more in 6th grade than any other year. I was able to stay in touch with her for many years. Sister Martha was an amazing person. RIP ❤
Kara Dunbar
April 12, 2016
April 11, 2016
Always will be remembered and never forgotten. One of the best teachers I've known....RIP Sister Martha
Stephanie Powers
April 11, 2016
Sr. Martha was an amazing teacher who cared deeply about her students. She cherished their development academically, but even more so as young people away from the classroom. I cherish the time I spent with her and will forever appreciate the impact she had on me and my fellow classmates at St. Mary Star of the Sea.
Fletch Callahan
April 11, 2016
God Bless you Sr. Martha. You were loved and respected. Your life lessons will always be remembered by the Hachey family.
Rest in Peace.
Irene Hachey
April 11, 2016
When I just heard of your passing I could not believe it could be true. My heart is heavy. To a wonderful lady who always made me smile when I thought of her. May you find peace. Until we meet again.
Suzanne King
April 11, 2016
Sister Martha.... An amazing women who always made everyone feel special and loved. Thank you for being an amazing mentor! You will truly be missed! Rest in peace
Colleen Linehan
April 11, 2016
So sad to learn this news about a person who spent her life helping others. I felt lucky just to have met her and that she blessed me each time I saw her. May she find peace and final rest with her family.
Jeff old friend of The Johnson Family of Auburn,Ma.
April 10, 2016
How fortunate I was to have you as my partner in second grade at St. Monica's in Methuen.You were such an inspiration during my first year teaching. God bless!
Cynthia Ryan
April 10, 2016
When I received a call this morning about Sister Martha having died I immediately pictured her at Holy Rosary many years ago. What I most remember is her beautiful smile! Decades later it came right back to me. Martha, may you rest in peace. Godspeed to you and your wonderful family.
Carolyn Hashey
April 10, 2016
Sister Martha Ann, Will always remember you and all our childhood pranks. Good old Sacred Heart school and Sister Thomasina. Also when your goat got loose and came up to my back yard for a little snack. Rest in peace. All my Love
Pat Benoit Goulden
April 10, 2016
"Breathe in... Breathe out..."
Sister Martha, it has been almost a lifetime ago, and yet here I sit, a grown adult, STILL ABLE to recite each & every one of my PREPOSITIONS, in order, without fail! You were, by far, the toughest yet most wonderful, dedicated teacher, I ever had! You made sure we all learned our stuff. Myself and every other student blessed to have been in your classrooms, are all living testaments to the gift that was you!
I hope you are enjoying the kingdom of heaven as you so deserve after a lifetime of your faithful service to our Lord. I will NEVER forget you!

Saint Mary's Star Of The Sea
Class of 1986
Amy Scarcella
April 10, 2016
My Dear, Sweet, Treasured Cousin~ You were a Gift to All who knew You~ Our Angel here on Earth~ My Life is Better and Truly Blessed for having You in it~ I Thank God for Sharing You with Me~ Rest in Sweet Peace...
April 10, 2016
Well done good and faithful servant! Now enter the Kingdom which was prepared for you from before the world began.
Dr.Timothy Hoffman
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