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Olson Burke Sullivan OBITUARIES

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John Henry Keehn , Age: 83
January 19, 1938 -- April 30, 2021

John Henry Keehn was born in Chicago on January 19, 1938 to the late John Paul and Marie Ursula (Helfers) Keehn.  He passed away on April 30, 2021 from pneumonia related to COVID 19, and a short illness with Alzheimers.
 
John was the youngest of three sons, and the middle child of five.  He grew up, living on the top floor of a family owned three flat in NW Chicago with his grandparents on one floor and his aunt, uncle and cousins occupying the other floors. John attended Queen of Angels and St. Benedict grade schools & attended Lane Tech High School.
 
He spoke often about his fond memories of his childhood, living on north Bell Avenue across from Welles Park including: families sleeping in the park on hot summer nights; being sent to tell his father it was time for dinner, on Sunday afternoons, after entering the cigar smoke filled poker room shack in Welles Park (with smoke so thick you could cut it with a knife); and running bets back and forth from that same poker room for his Uncle Whitey, the Bookie (who later was run out of Chicago by the Mob). 
 
 He would often tell stories of his cousins and family picnics at Sylvan Lake, in Mundelein, where his Aunt Eleanor and Uncle Whitey relocated to.  John could clearly remember as a little boy hearing about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the excitement in the air when WWII ended.  In 1956, John met his future wife, Arlene Andrews at a diner on Lawrence and Western, through mutual friends.  They wed on September 5, 1959 at St. Benedicts,  and honeymooned in the Poconos. 
 
John and Arlene raised their two sons, Steve & John,  on the northwest side of Chicago. Sadly, in June of 1987, Arlene suffered a brain aneurysm and stroke.  From that point forward, he became a lifelong caregiver for over 30 years.  John held a few different jobs as an adult, working for Otis Elevator, and a draftsman for GS Blakeslee, but due to his outgoing personality, he proved to be a good salesman and became the regional Midwest salesman for the commercial restaurant equipment company, Market Forge. 
 
In the early 80’s, he changed gears and started his career as a successful car salesman at Lynch Buick.  One year during his tenure at Lynch Buick he was the leading salesman 11 of out 12 months. He was an excellent career salesman with repeat customers including family and friends, and ended his career at Libertyville Lincoln Mercury.  
 
John developed a love for the game of golf as a young man, caddying with his two older brothers at the Glenview Country Club, With no vehicle for transportation, they had to leave home early in the morning from the city, walking, hitchhiking & taking buses to earn $1.75 for caddying 18 holes, arriving home hungry, late in the day, having made enough money so they could buy their greasy bag of fries from “Stoners”, the restaurant under the L tracks on Western Ave.,  and later became an avid golfer, earning the nickname, “Johnny Seven”, (often shooting with only a Seven Iron).
 
His entire family will always remember his wonderful tenor voice during his solo performance of O Holy Night, sung during the annual Keehn Christmas party.
 
John was married to Arlene for 61 years; beloved father to Steve (Debra Sue) and John (Margaret); grandfather to Max, Ross, Lindsey and Julie Keehn. Brother to Paul (the late Jean) (Linda), Dave (the late Nancy), Kathy Johnson and Diane (Bill) Clanton, brother-in-law to Bob Andrews and Janet Conley.  He is preceded in death by his parents John and Marie Keehn, his parents-in-law Casmir and Billie Andrews, his sister Kathy Johnson and sister-in-laws Jean Keehn, Nancy Keehn and Janet Conley, along with his nephew Michael Johnson. Fond uncle of many nieces and nephews; cousin and friend to many.
 
Memorial Visitation will be held 1-4 p.m. on July 17 at Olson Burke-Sullivan Funeral Home at 6467 N. Northwest Hwy, Chicago, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his name to Alzheimer's Association.
 
 
 


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Olson Burke-Sullivan
Funeral & Cremation Center
6467 N Northwest Hwy
Chicago, IL 60631
773-774-3333