James "Jim" Keenan

James “Jim” Keenan, 82, of Waukon, formerly of Lansing, died Monday, November 23, 2020 at his home peacefully surrounded by his family. Funeral services were held Saturday, November 28 at St. Mary’s Lycurgus Catholic Church in rural Waukon with Fr. John Moser officiating. Burial was at Gethsemane Catholic Cemetery, Lansing. Martin-Grau Funeral Home in Waukon handled arrangements. Cards may be sent to Sandy Keenan at 307 Third Avenue NW, Apt. 101, Waukon, IA 52172.

James Raymond Keenan was born December 10, 1937 in Allamakee County to Matthew and Marcella (Hennessy) Keenan. He grew up in rural Waukon and graduated from Waukon High School. April 11, 1964, he married Sandra Cahalan, the love of his life, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Lansing. He enjoyed farming and his work as a crane operator for Brennan Construction Company where he worked for 39 years.

Growing up on the farm, Jim enjoyed spending time in the field with his dad. His love of farming continued into adulthood and led to a collection of tractors that was a source of pride for him. In addition to tractors, he had a cap collection that included over 700 hats from various places all over the world. He enjoyed building and woodworking and was happy when he was helping others. Cutting wood or relaxing on The Ponderosa was one of his favorite things in life.

Faith and family were especially important to Jim. He enjoyed spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and would tell us when we saw him that he had said a rosary for us. He loved sharing stories about childhood antics with his siblings that carried over into adulthood shenanigans that they laughed about whenever they got together. He was proud of all he accomplished, but always said that his greatest accomplishment was his family.

Survivors include his wife, Sandra, of Waukon; two daughters: Laurie (Arvid) Hatlan of Waukon and Theresa Helgeson of Genoa, WI; his grandchildren, who affectionately referred to him as Grandpa Barney, Adam and Hannah Hatlan and their daughters Cora and Maeve, Josh and Heather Hatlan, Nick Hatlan, Drake Helgeson, Bowe Helgeson and Jasmine Tully and their son Trace, Emma Hatlan, Fletcher Helgeson, Brock Hatlan, Mya Helgeson and Noah Hatlan; his siblings, Leo (Kathleen) Keenan and Margaret O’Donnell; and two sisters-in-law, Betty Schedivy and Carol Keenan. He is further survived by a number of nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Matthew and Marcella; his siblings: Mary Theresa Keenan, Dorothy Manning, Pat Keenan, Lawrence Keenan, Rita Berry and Albert Keenan; two infant daughters, Nancy and Susan; a son-in-law, Joe Helgeson; and a grandson, Cole Helgeson.

In the last days of his life, his focus was on his family and making sure we were prepared to continue in this world without him. He showed us how to live and how to die with dignity and grace. There will forever be an emptiness that will never be filled. You were a kind and caring man whose presence brought a sense of calm and peace to all who knew you. You filled a lot of shoes in life by helping anyone in need. They will forever be empty because there is no one in the world who could ever fill those shoes.

Honorary casketbearers were Jim’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Casketbearers were Leon Manning, Janet Henning, Josh Hatlan, Pat O’Donnell, Eric Van Brocklin and Drake Helgeson.

Online condolences may be left at www.martinfunerals.com.