November 13, 1947 ~ October 16, 2021

Born in: Owensboro, KY
Resided in: Owensboro, KY

John M. Keelin, 73, of Owensboro passed away Saturday, October 16, 2021 at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital. He was born in Owensboro on November 13, 1947 to the late Owen and Margaret Newman Keelin. John retired from the VA as an Environmental Specialist. He was a member of Christ the King Church and Knights of Columbus where he was a 4th degree Knight. He proudly served for the United States Marine Corps where he was Lance Corporal in Vietnam and was awarded the Purple Heart. John enjoyed spending time with his family, traveling cross country, hosting BBQ’s and camping trips. He loved his time coaching football at Madisonville North Hopkins School Maroons. He delighted in watching his grandsons play football on Saturdays. John was also a Scout Master for Troop 90 of Christ the King for 10 years.

Along with his parents he is preceded in death by an infant sister Margaret Mary Keelin.

John is survived by his wife of 44 years Debbie Keelin; children Shanna (Brandon) Lahti of Everett, WA and Mark (Abby) Keelin of Owensboro; grandchildren John Mark and Job Keelin, Ginny Ferne and Owen Lahti; his siblings Charlotte Hagan, Gene (Mary) Keelin, Sharon Matthews and Tim (Stephanie) Keelin.

Services will be 1:30 October 21, 2021 at St. Stephen Cathedral. Burial to follow at Mater Dolorosa. Visitation will be Wednesday from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Haley McGinnis Funeral Home & Crematory and again from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on Thursday at the funeral home. Prayers will be 7:00 pm.

In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Catholic Charities; 600 Locust St, Owensboro, KY 42301. Envelopes will be provided.

Haley McGinnis Funeral Home & Crematory is both honored and privileged to be entrusted with the care of Mr. Keelin. Share your messages of condolence with the family of John M. Keelin and sign his virtual guestbook by going to


Visitation: October 20, 2021 5:00 pm - October 20, 2021 8:00 pm

Haley McGinnis Funeral Home & Crematory
519 Locust St.
Owensboro, KY 42301

Room: Chapel

Visitation: October 21, 2021 11:00 am - October 21, 2021 1:00 pm

Haley McGinnis Funeral Home & Crematory
519 Locust St.
Owensboro, KY 42301

Room: Chapel

Funeral Mass: October 21, 2021 1:30 pm - October 21, 2021 2:30 pm

St. Stephen Cathedral
610 Locust Street
Owensboro, KY 42301

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  1. One of my fondest memories is at a Keelin family reunion and the karaoke with John,Gene and Frank singing Garth Brooks ‘Friends in Low Places.” There has been to many deaths this year in the Keelin line. My deepest sympathy to the family at this time of grief it’s not a easy time to go through

  2. Saddened by his passing, we are strengthened by his strong faith and devotion to God, his family and country. Prayers for the repose of his soul and for those he loved so dearly.

  3. My deepest sympathy to the loving Keelin family. I have so many precious memories from the year that you all welcomed me to the family with open arms. I loved the campingtrips and John was always such a loving father to Shanna and Mark.

  4. Our condolences go out to the family. We enjoyed our times spent with John and family. John welcomed Us into the family when Brandon and Shanna became a couple. John will be dearly missed.
    Derek and Melva Allor

  5. John and I hung out while in high school and when I came back from Vietnam. We had some of the best times together. I want to thank him for his service and the sacrifices suffered while doing so. Thoughts and prayers to the family.

    • Jim, I’m sure you were always in my dads thoughts as well. I took my boys deep sea fishing this past summer and dad was telling me the story about you all’s fishing trip and how he got sick. Which I’ve heard that story many times. We even found a picture from your trip and it was in the video album for the funeral. So was the picture of you and dad taking a selfie together in Grandma’s kitchen one Christmas. lol. Fun times. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Deepest condolences to you all. May God wrap his loving arms around each of you through this difficult time. ❤️

  7. RO and I are so sorry for your loss. John was always smiling and making others smile. We enjoyed many happy times together at CTK church and school. Rest In Peace John🙏🏼

  8. My earliest memories of John were from Shanna’s birthday slumber parties and when he drove the bus for Christ the King School. I can remember him saying in a singing voice on the bus, “We’re having some fun!” He was such a great man!

  9. Eternal rest grant unto him oh Lord and let perpetual light come down upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed Rest In Peace. Amen
    ~ Fr. Carl McCarthy

  10. We are just heart broken about John’s passing. He brought so much enthusiasm about life and friendship. Everyone that knows him will morn his passing and celebrate his joy for life. Jim & Deb Allen

  11. We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of our friend. John and I had many great times together especially on our trip to Washington D. C. with the Madisonville – North Hopkins Band. A Special blessing to the family for their friendship to Kaye and I Kaye and James L. Stevens

  12. Sorry to hear! Hung out in 68 & 69 before entering the Marines in May 69. Also with George who also commented. Short story: John, Curtis, George, myself and another or two swimming at the strip pits. They swam ahead and before I got to island started cramping. yelled for help and later John said thought I was playing until he saw the look in my eyes. He jumped in and swam to me as I was going down for the last time. Undoubtedly, saved my life. Thank you John. And condolences to all of family especially Sharon as we were also close friends.. RIP My Friend SEMPER FI
    Parker Williams Sarasota Fl

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