Mary Keating

Mary Margaret "Maggie" Keating

1929 - 2020

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Obituary of Mary Margaret Keating

Mary Margaret ‘Maggie” Keating died peacefully Sunday, August 16th, after a short illness. She was surrounded by her family, music and prayers, and under the loving care of the U of I Palliative Care team and Iowa City Hospice. The choirs of angels have a new soprano. Maggie was guided to heaven by the light of her life, Bob, her granddaughter Sara Keating, her parents; Bob’s parents and siblings; Maggie’s 2 sisters and 3 brothers. Private family services will be held on Thursday at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. A public visitation will be held from 4 to 7 pm Wednesday at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service, all are welcome. In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established to support a number of causes important to Maggie and her family. To share a thought, memory or condolence please visit the funeral home website @ Mary Margaret Patterson was born September 22, 1929 to John and Stella (Reilly) Patterson. She graduated from Ursuline Academy in 1947. Due to her father’s death in 1945, leaving her mother a 36 year old widow with 11 children, Maggie decided to forego a college music scholarship to help support her family. She worked as a legal secretary until her marriage in 1952. Her cousin Tom introduced Maggie to Bob Keating, one of his best friends, shortly before Bob was sent to serve in the Korean Conflict. After a 2 month courtship, Bob proposed, and 2 weeks after his return in 1952, Maggie and Bob were married. That started a beautiful love story that lasted nearly 61 years, one based on faith, love and family. Maggie loved her adopted Iowa City home, enjoyed being active in the VFW, St Patrick Church, especially its choir, and attending the many activities of her 10 children, and eventually her many grandchildren. Mom was once crowned Irish Mother of the Year, an honor she cherished. She loved hosting family gatherings, making even simple occasions seem so special. We never sat down to eat a meal without saying grace; a rosary was always in her pocket. She was a loving, generous person welcoming many into her home, and treating them like family. She was joyful, and had a song for nearly every occasion. Her advice for those dealing with disappointment was that “this too shall pass”. She loved to welcome new grandchildren into the family, and all 29 were welcomed with a handmade embroidered blanket. Her life’s goal was to be a good wife and mother, and she surpassed even her own expectations; she was simply the best. She personified grace and grit. Devoted to her family, she was tough when times called for it, tender when hearts were full or broken, and loved unconditionally. A quote by Mother Teresa so aptly reflects her priorities: “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” Maggie is survived by her 10 children: Mary (Kate) Varcoe (Steve); Mike (Martha) Keating; Brian (Bobbi) Keating; Kevin (Janet) Keating; Diana (Mark) Besler; Dan (Sheila) Keating; Sharon Keating; Tom (Shelly)Keating ; Bill (Jodi) Keating; Connie Tucker. Also surviving are 28 grandchildren: Nick (Amy) Varcoe; Lindsay (Ben) Wagoner; Caitlin (John) Wiedenheft; Erin Varcoe; Hannah Keating; Tim Keating, Emily Keating, Thomas (Alanna) Keating, William Keating; Megan (Ben) O’Brien, Paige Besler, Mary Besler; Dan Keating, Alex Keating, Angie (Matt) Keabert, Sean (Molly) Embers; Matthew Romans, Ryan Romans; Ben (Rachel) Keating, Jake (Meg) Keating, Joe Keating; Meg Keating, Jack Keating, Cormac Keating; Cate Tucker, Joe Tucker, Maggie Tucker, and Caroline Tucker; 11 Great Grandchildren: Evan, Wyatt and Lucy Varcoe; Noah, Claire and Isabel Wagoner; Nora Wiedenheft; Nolan and Ellie O’Brien; and Conor Keating and George Keabert. She is also survived by 2 brothers; Charlie and Mick Patterson, and 3 sisters; Dee Dee Bowsher, Annie Patterson, and Eileen Schmelzel. Mom always said “you’ll miss me when I’m gone”, and we do. Though you shared your life with us for 90 years, it doesn’t seem like it was long enough. “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:29.


4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service
2720 Muscatine Avenue
Iowa City, Iowa, United States