Ralph P. Keenan, age 74, passed away on Sunday, October 23, 2022, at the Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Massachusetts. Born in Boston, Massachusetts on May 29, 1948, he was the son of the late Thomas and Claire (Cavanaugh) Keenan. He was raised in Dorchester, where he graduated from Dorchester High School with the Class of 1966. Following his graduation, Ralph spent a short time working with the Charlestown Shipyard, before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps, proudly serving his country during the Vietnam War. While serving in Vietnam, Ralph was wounded in action and was awarded the Purple Heart and the Navy Commendation Medal. He was honorably discharged in December of 1968, returning to Dorchester. Upon his return home, Ralph focused on his own education, attending a year of preparatory school, before earning his bachelors degree from Boston State College, where he was a standout athlete on the lacrosse field.
Ralph married his beloved wife, Theresa C. Mastroianni, on October 20, 1973, in her hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania. The young couple initially made their home in Boston. After moving to Norwood, Massachusetts in 1975, Ralph took positions with Texas Instruments, Foxboro Company and later with Gibson Brothers Construction. In addition to working full-time, Ralph returned to his education, taking night classes at Suffolk University to earn his masters degree. Three years after leaving the big city, Ralph moved his family to their home in Walpole, Massachusetts and founded his own wall papering and painting company, Keenan and Sons Paper Hanging and served as a coach and commissioner of the vaunted Walpole Little League. In 1992, Ralph had a change of careers, using his degree to apply for a position with the Boston Public Schools. He was initially hired on as a permanent substitute teacher at Boston High School, which led his to his career in Special Education. Once more, Ralph returned to his own education, taking courses at Framingham State College to earn his second masters degree. Eight years later, in 2000, Ralph took a position in the Special Education Department of the West Roxbury High School, where he also served as the Assistant Coach for the Girls Volleyball Team. Ralph retired in 2006 after 14 years of dedication to his students.
Throughout his life, Ralph was an avid supporter of his hometown teams, following the Red Sox, Patriots, and Bruins. He looked forward to spending a night at the Boston Garden, as he and his son were season ticket holders for several years, and he regularly volunteered to help clean the stadium in Foxboro after a Patriots game, raising money for his sons’ athletic teams. Ralph enjoyed some quiet time too, working with his pencils and sketch pads or his pens to create beautiful works of calligraphy as well as verses of rhyme like a true warrior poet. He passed along that lifelong passion for the written verse and Irish music. As an avid reader, Ralph regularly ingested multiple books every week, feeding his ever-growing desire for knowledge. More recently, Ralph enjoyed a cup of coffee with his neighbor and trading stories with other veterans at the VA.
Beloved husband of the late Theresa C. (Mastroianni) Keenan.
Loving father of Geoff P. Keenan and his wife, Colleen Murphy, of West Newton and Timothy J. Keenan and his wife, Mayuko, of San Diego, California.
Cherished grandfather of Thomas Keenan, Layla Keenan, Suzu Keenan, and Patrick Keenan.
Brother of Michael Keenan of Mystic, Connecticut, the late Thomas Keenan, the late Paul Keenan, the late Joseph Keenan, the late Marie Stafford, the late Richard Keenan, the late James Keenan, and the late Anne D'Andrea.
Son-in-law of the late Pasquale and Minnie Mastroianni.
Also survived by his many loving nieces, nephews, and extended members of the Mastroianni Family.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Ralph's Life Celebration on Saturday, October 29, 2022, from 9 to 10 AM in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Blessed Sacrament Church, 10 Diamond Street, Walpole on Saturday, October 29, 2022, at 10:30 AM. Interment will follow in Saint Francis Cemetery in Walpole.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: The Tommy Strong Foundation, at https://www.tommystrongfoundation.com