Emeritus Prof. Joe McKeon has Died at Age 76

JoeMckeonJoe McKeon, who taught at CCSU for more than 30 years, during which time he served as Department Chair, Coordinator of Religious Studies, Honors Program Director, and Coordinator of East Asian Studies, has died at age 76. Joe had only recently retired from the department, which accorded him emeritus status for his efforts on behalf of faculty and students over so many years, and his contributions to teaching Religious Studies and Asian Philosophy. An obituary notice prepared by his family follows:

Joseph G. McKeon, 76, of West Hartford, CT, departed this life on December 7, 2013.  A long-time resident of South Windsor, CT, he was born in Brooklyn, NY, on May 16, 1937, son of the late John and Mary McKeon.

Largely Jesuit educated, he graduated from St. Michael’s High School in Brooklyn in 1955, earned a B.S. in History from St. Peter’s College in 1959, a Master’s in History from Notre Dame University in 1961, and a Master’s in Sacred Theology from St. Mary’s Seminary in 1964.

Ordained a Catholic priest on May 30, 1964, he served as Associate Pastor at Blessed Sacrament Church in Brooklyn, NY, where he worked with disadvantaged grammar and high school students and young adults in Continuing Education programs.  Beginning in 1968, he served as the Campus Minister for York College of the City University of New York where he also taught several courses in the Humanities, igniting his lifelong passion for teaching.

After leaving the Priesthood in 1974, he earned a Ph.D. in the History of Religions from Fordham University in 1978.  Moving to Connecticut and starting a family, he taught Philosophy and East Asian Religions at Central Connecticut State University from 1977 to his retirement in 2012.

He is survived by his sister, Margaret Dwyer, of Brooklyn, NY, his son, Jonathan, and his wife, Emily, of Batesville, VA, his daughter, Darcy, and her boyfriend, Peter Maric, of McKinleyville, CA, his son, Eric, and his wife, Madeline, of Brooklyn, NY, and his granddaughter, Claire.

Joe was a loving father, friend, and teacher; a world traveler; and a unique, compassionate, and caring individual.  His love of good food, good company, and good conversation brought many to his table.  He will be missed by all who knew him.  A wake will be held December 11 from 4-7pm at Sheehan-Hilborn-Breen Funeral Home, 1084 New Britain Ave, West Hartford.  A Memorial Service will be held on December 12 at 10am at St. Patrick’s – St. Anthony’s Church, 285 Church St, Hartford.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Patrick’s – St. Anthony’s Community Outreach Program.  For online condolences and guest book, please visit Sheehan-Hilborn-Breen’s website.

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