AMerican Veteran 11

Deacon Robert L. Keeley

May 22, 1930 ~ January 18, 2022 (age 91)

Obituary Image


Robert Lawrence Keeley Sr. (Bob) (Deacon Bob), loving father and husband, passed away peacefully on January 18th, 2022, at his home in Linthicum, MD surrounded by family.

Robert was preceded in death by his wife Elizabeth Rightnour Keeley, daughter Mary Elizabeth Keeley, son Jay Lawrence Keeley, his brothers William and Joseph Keeley and his sister Margaret Ann Jensen.

Bob was born on May 22, 1930, to Lawrence W. Keeley and Mildred (Pat) Powless in Burlington Iowa. After graduating St. Bede Academy in Peru, Illinois, in 1948, dad became a postulant at St. Bede Abbey, having been called to serve the Lord.

Fortunately for us, his calling was re-directed and he joined the U.S. Army in 1955. Dad dutifully served his country for 20 years. After attaining the rank of Major, he retired in 1975 and was a proud U.S. Army veteran. His duty stations and tours included Germany, France, Vietnam, California, Georgia, and Maryland.

While serving in Berlin, Germany, Bob met Betty, the love of his life. They married July 9th, 1960.
After retiring from the U.S. Army, Bob worked for the Maryland Department of Transportation until retirement from the state of Maryland.

Bob once again heard the Lord calling and responded by committing to the Diaconate. Deacon Bob was always dedicated and committed to the promises he made on his ordination day, September 30, 1978. He had over 40 years of service to the Lord and to the people of St. Philip Neri Church and school through his ministry as a deacon.
As children, dad would often gather us around the table for a game of high-stakes poker where he would dole out a few pennies to each of us, imparting the difference between a straight and a flush. It wasn't until retirement where he was able to play regularly and earn the nickname "Ace Keeley" amongst his card playing colleagues.

Bob is survived by his children Christine Marie and husband Dr. Timothy Trageser, Robert Lawrence Jr. and wife Amy, Teresa Marie and husband Matthew Tews, Kathryn Marie and husband Scott Holden, Ann Marie and husband Santos Ceballos, Karen Marie and husband Sean Foley, and Kevin Lawrence.

He is also survived by grand-children Brian Trageser, Jessica Trageser, Daniel Trageser, Nicholas Trageser, Robert (Kasey) Keeley, Matthew (Shennean) Keeley, Max (Rachael) Keeley, Tyler Rudd, Kacie Traurig, Sara Holden, Anna Holden, Joshua Holden, Kaitlin Border, Angela (Alejandro) Burdick, Samantha Burdick, Harmony Williams, Jahya Young, Elijah Young, and great-grandchildren Hazel Grace Keeley, Stella Rose Keeley, Autumm Border, Bryce Border, Millianna Jaramillo, Marcelina Jaramillo, and Benjamin Jaramillo, as well as brothers James Keeley, John (Rosie) Keeley and Michael Keeley, and in- laws Grace Barnas, Renie (Larry) Forester, Jay Rightnour, and Charles (Alice) Rightnour and well as many other family members.

Donations may be made to St. Philip Neri School’s Annual Fund as part of “The Deacon Bob Keeley Scholarship Fund” to help a family afford the school tuition. Donations can be made online at the link below or send a check payable to “ St Philip Neri School” to the following address: 6401 S. Orchard Road Linthicum, MD 21090
When giving online in the field titled “In Memory of” please reference “The Deacon Bob Keeley Scholarship Fund.”


Deacon Robert (Bob) L. Keeley will have visitation in St. Philip Neri Catholic Church on Wednesday January 26, 2022 from 7:00 pm till 9:00 pm. and further visitation on Thursday January 27, 2022 from 10:00 am till 11:00 am at which time a Funeral Mass will be held. Interment will follow with Military Honors in Baltimore National Cemetery. 

Please leave condolences for the family in Deacon Bob’s Tribute Wall. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Deacon Robert L. Keeley, please visit our floral store.


January 26, 2022

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
St. Philip Neri Catholic Church

January 27, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Philip Neri Catholic Church

Mass of Christian Burial
January 27, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Philip Neri Catholic Church

© 2022 Gonce Funeral Service. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility