Mary Ann (Johannes) McKeon

November 18, 1947 - November 17, 2021 (73 years old)

Geneva, Illinois

Mary Ann (Johannes) McKeon

November 18, 1947 - November 17, 2021 (73 years old)

Geneva, Illinois

Mary Ann (Johannes) McKeon Obituary

With deep sorrow, we share that Mary Ann McKeon passed away peacefully in her home on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by the adoring love of her daughter and dear friends.

Mary was a deeply cherished mother, grandmother (“Amma”) and friend. She was born on the 18th of November 1947 in Quincy, IL. After graduating from Marquette University, she taught in Milwaukee before moving to Washington D.C. to work in Senator Adlai Stevenson’s office. In D.C., she met and married her dear husband David, and they had one daughter, Catherine. While a temporary transfer took her family to Michigan, the Birmingham area turned into a true home with many wonderful friends for over 30 years. Mary spent this time as a loving, dedicated, selfless caregiver of her mother, sister, husband and, of course, daughter. She volunteered countless hours at Holy Name Catholic Church, ran parties and programs for the mentally and physically impaired, and always welcomed friends or anyone who didn’t have family into her home. During these years, Mary also completed the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises and was warmly welcomed to the staff at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House. Her deep and beautiful Catholic faith shone through her ministry work as a retreat and spiritual director where she changed more lives than she could ever know. To be closer to her daughter and family, she moved to Geneva, IL where she joyfully and gratefully joined the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House staff. She absolutely loved her ministry at Bellarmine and was well appreciated and loved there, though nothing matched her love of family, particularly her daughter, son-in-law and four grandchildren. Her darling grandchildren were the loves of her life. Spending time with them, whether it was baking, reading, taking them on walks, or just holding them, was most precious to her. Mary’s deeply loving, always helping, grace-filled, gentle, generous presence will be missed more than words can convey.

Mary was preceded in death by her devoted husband, David, her dear parents, Charles and Margaret Johannes, and her sweet sister Martha. She is survived by her treasured daughter Catherine and thoughtful son-in-law Christopher Palenik and her four adoring grandchildren, John, Joseph, Michael, and Mary Claire.

A private Mass of Christian Burial will be held for immediate family; however, the Mass will be live-streamed (see http://www.jesuitretreat.org for details). An outdoor celebration of life will be held in the summer of 2022 at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation to Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House (420 W County Line Rd, Barrington, IL 60010).



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500 CHARACTERS

Words of sympathy

December 2, 2021

Teresa Bartels wrote a sympathy message

“I am one of many, many retreatants who appreciated Mary's deep devotion to Jesus and her passionate way of sharing her stories with us at Bellarmine. I can hear her voice as she talked about Mary, the mother of Jesus, and expressed sincere awe with Mary's commitment to do God's will. She was equally passionate as she told stories about her beloved grandchildren. I hope that Catherine, Christopher, John, Joseph, Michael and Mary Claire find comfort in wonderful memories. She lives on in you.”

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December 2, 2021

Nancy Campbell wrote a sympathy message

“To Catherine & family, All our condolences to you and your family. Mary’s obit is a perfect match to how I remember her in high school. Very intelligent, independent, determined , yet genuinely sweet and caring. If anyone could endure pancreatic cancer with grace and dignity it would be her. Mary is now where she always knew she would be. I think she would want her quiet smile to always be ours. Denny (Class of ’65) & Nancy Campbell”

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November 29, 2021

Nancy Stevenson wrote a sympathy message

“My sympathies to Mary's daughter, Catherine, her husband and grandchildren. My husband, Adlai, died in September of a long illness, though not as painful as pancreatic cancer. He believed that one of the duties of a public servant was to surround his work with competent, caring staff members, the better to serve the public. Mary was certainly one of those treasured helpers. He was proud of and grateful to his wonderful staff. May your memories bring you joy, Nancy Stevenson”

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