Date of Birth
Date of Death
Lillie Mae “Gert” Keenan, age 87, of Elburn, claimed the promise of her Savior, Wednesday evening, June 10, 2020. Hard working hands now still, Gert is reunited with Cap and a family of friends that Heaven can only hope to contain.
She was born April 29, 1933, in Clinton, IL, to proud parents, John and Julia (Kiley) Knopp.
Gert grew up in Clinton and attended St. John Catholic schools. After the passing of her father, she moved to Elburn to live with her sister.
Gert met the man she would marry when she was offered a job to take care of his mom. Francis Michael “Cap” Keenan fell in love with her, and she with him, both nearly at first sight. It quickly became a May-December romance that would stand the test of time. They were united in marriage on January 24, 1953 and began their new life together in the first and last home she would ever have. She spent her life caring for not only her family, but whoever walked through her door. Their family would be complete when they welcomed home a daughter Mary, three years later.
Gert possessed an indomitable work ethic and had the kind of determination that could outlast an ice age. She began working at the age of 15 washing dishes and could withstand the hottest temperature without flinching, (a feat that would amaze all the generations to follow). Gert worked at the Joliet Arsenal making shells until she went “AWOL” and moved to Elburn. She spent many years working at Dari-Joy (where she was known as “Ma Keenan to many) and later Hansonâ€™s Back 80 before spending the next 12 years working at Conley Funeral Home. Her job description over the years grew and by the end, you could find traces of her in every nook, cranny and project for three different generations of funeral directors. It wasnâ€™t long before she became a member of the “family” and would forever remain so. After a short time working at Andersonâ€™s Grocery Store, Gert “retired”. She raised five generations of her family, and few generations of others, as everyone who walked through the door were all “adopted”, finding a hearth, home, and a “mom” or “granny” for life.
Gert was a lifelong and faithful member of St. Gall Catholic Church in Elburn, and was a past member of the Altar and Rosary Society.
Gert always saw the best in people and even when she didnâ€™t, she ignored it, preferring instead to love them unconditionally and without reservation. She always looked for ways to help someone in any way she could, often sharing her heart, home, money, time and sometimes her last dime. No one cared for others as deeply, or as humbly as Gert, but when it came to keeping “the kids in line”, she spoke softly (sometimes) and carried a big broom. Her sense of humor was always on point and was always freely shared; laughter was truly the best medicine and everyone wanted their daily dose. Gert was truly one of a kind, and beloved by all.
She is survived by her daughter, Mary Ellen (Robert Luther) Flint; two grandsons: Daniel Burton (Sherry) Flint and Michael Keith (Jacqueline Rae) Flint; six great-grandchildren: Jacob (Katy) Thorne Flint, Hannah, Wyatt, Keenan, Bradley and McKenna Flint; four great-great grandchildren: Bentley, Sonny, Grayson and Declan; an “adopted grandson”, Carl Nowell, many nieces, nephews and a family of friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents, John and Julia Knopp, her husband Cap Keenan; five siblings: Everett Knopp, Emma Knopp Cobb, John Knopp, Iva Rapp and Ida Olsen.
Public visitation (masks and social distancing required) will be Saturday, June 20, 2020 at St. Gall Catholic Church from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., with mass to follow at 12:30 p.m. Sanctuary seating for Mass is limited to a maximum of 60 persons (including family) and will be streamed live on the St. Gall Facebook Page. Viewing will commence approximately 5-10 minutes prior to Mass. Private family burial will follow cremation at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Gertâ€™s name. Checks may be made to the “Lillie Mae Keenan Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address, the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page, or at www.conleycare.com.
Public visitation (masks and social distancing required) will be Saturday, June 20, 2020 at St. Gall Catholic Church from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., with mass to follow at 12:30 p.m. Sanctuary seating for Mass is limited to a maximum of 60 persons (including family) and will be streamed live on the St. Gall Facebook Page. Viewing will commence approximately 5-10 minutes prior to Mass. Private family burial will follow cremation at a later date.