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Mary Jean Keener

September 1, 1929 ~ October 28, 2018 (age 89)

Mary Jean Keener of Painesville, born September 1, 1929, passed peacefully from this life on Sunday morning, October 28, 2018.  She was the middle of the five children of John and Mary Bertone, originally of Campobasso, Italy who settled in Painesville, Ohio.  She was a lifetime member of St. Mary Church and attended elementary school there.  She was a graduate of Harvey High School, and married her high school sweetheart, Robert V. Keener in July of 1950.    

She shared a love of Barbershop style music with her husband and was a long-time member of Sweet Adelines, an A cappella women’s vocal group singing in Barbershop harmony.  She participated in both chorus and Quartet singing over a period of fifty years.  Mary was also a gifted seamstress and plied her talents in costuming for Sweet Adeline performances.  When she lost Robert to cancer in 1992, she also applied those talents to dressmaking and alterations to supplement her income.  She had an eye for style and design, and each of her children and grandchildren have a quilt or garment crafted by her. 

Mary was a wife and mother to two children, Kenneth Keener and Carolyn Wilkie both of Painesville.   She survived colon cancer in her early forties, but lost daughter, Carolyn, to ovarian cancer in 2001.  Mary was also preceded in death by her two sisters, Antoinette (Stephenson) of Tampa, Florida, and Rose (Conley) of Painesville.  She is survived by her two brothers John Bertone of Madison, and Joseph (Barbara) Bertone of Painesville, her son Kenneth (Lori) Keener of Painesville, her grandchildren, Heather and Shannon Wilkie of Painesville, Anne Keener of Columbus, Ohio, Matthew (Bridgett) Keener of Delaware, Ohio, and two great grandsons, Levi and Boyd Keener of Delaware. 

Mary’s genial personality, sense of fun, and skill as a cook and homemaker made her house a natural gathering place for family and friends all year round.   Her generosity and genuine concern for others have touched a wide circle of family, friends, and pets. She will be missed by many including her beloved cat Thumper.

Calling hours will be from 2-4 PM   and 6-8 PM on Wednesday, October 31 at the Spear-Mulqueeny Funeral Home in Painesville.  Funeral services will be celebrated at the All Saints Day Mass at St. Mary Church, 242 N. State Street, Painesville, Ohio on Thursday, November 1, 2018 at 10:00 AM with internment to follow at Riverside Cemetery in Painesville.

The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, charitable contributions in her name can be made to The Alzheimer’s Association, the American Cancer Society, or St. Mary Church, Painesville.

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