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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Obituary: Raymond L. Keenan Jr., 77, Belmont


Belmont, NY - Raymond L. Keenan Jr. passed away this spring, 2016, at the age of 77 years. 
Ray was born in Warsaw, N.Y., raised in Belmont, N.Y. and graduated from what was then Belmont Central High School in 1955. He received his B.A. in history from St. Bonaventure University where he graduated with honors and was also in ROTC.  Following graduation, Ray served a four year tour of duty in the Army while stationed in Korea and Germany. Following his discharge and a year of travel in Europe and Asia he returned to New York and taught Junior High School for a year and a half in Scio N.Y. Ray then moved to California to spend two summer sessions at Stanford studying the Chinese language. He next transferred to San Francisco State University where he used his natural interest in linguistics and word origins to earn an M.A. Degree with a major in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).  Ray's adventures in teaching abroad began in 1972 when he flew to Tokyo, Japan, to work at an English Language Specialty School.  He also became a part time English instructor at Waseda University.  Ray went on to teach for 37 years, retiring from the English Specialty School in 2004 and Waseda University in 2007.  Following a five year retirement period in Tokyo, Ray returned to California due to poor health and was cared for by his brother, Francis "Skip" Keenan, for a two and one half year period before his death due to cancer this spring.  
Ray was a scholar with a special interest in history and classical music.  He traveled throughout the world, but especially in Asia.  Ray was regarded as a true Renaissance man by all who knew him.
Ray is survived by his brothers, Francis "Skip" Keenan of Tehachapi, California, and Richard Keenan of Valencia, California, sister, Linda McCann of Rochester, NY, and various nieces and nephews. He was proceeded in death by his parents, Raymond and Alice Keenan of Belmont, NY. 
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Family Church (formerly St. Mary's) in Belmont, NY. Interment with military honors, will follow at St Mary's Cemetery. To leave online condolences, please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.