Born in New York City on May 21, 1934, William was the eldest son of the late Margaret Ryan Keeshan and William Francis Keeshan. He grew up in Stamford, CT and graduated from the King School. He received his BS Degree from the University of Vermont, class of ‘57, where he was a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity. Following graduation, he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, serving two years active duty and six years in the active reserves. Over the years, Mr. Keeshan was active in UVM alumni affairs having served on the executive committee of the Alumni Association and as Chairman of the Green & Gold Committee.
William spent over thirty years in his business career working in advertising agency account management positions with New York City based firms such as Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB), William Esty, and Della Femina McNamee (DFM). After retiring from Senior Vice President in 1993 with DFM, he joined Becks North America, a long standing client company, as Assistant to the President. He retired in 1998.
An avid skier and lifelong sailor, he was a 50-year member of the Noroton Yacht Club in Darien, CT and a 7-year member of the Lake Sunapee Yacht Club in Sunapee, NH. He cherished being out on the water sailing, volunteering on race committee, and skiing at Mt. Sunapee with his family and friends. William used his love of landscaping as an active volunteer of the Fells Historic Estate & Gardens in Newbury, New Hampshire.
Before moving to New London, NH in 2004 to enjoy their retirement in the northeast, he and his wife, Jacqueline Cremen Keeshan known as “Bunny”, lived in Darien, CT for 45 years where they raised their three daughters. He is remembered for being a man of great faith, a loving and devoted husband, father, and granddad who always put family first. His grandchildren were very fortunate to have enjoyed his love of skiing together over the years as recently as 2015.
He is survived by his wife, Bunny, of 58 years. Also surviving are three daughters and seven grandchildren; Deborah (Deb) Keeshan Peirce, her husband David, two granddaughters Sarah and Julia and grandson Henry of Reston, VA; Margaret (Meg) Keeshan McGovern, her husband Brian and two grandsons, William and Peter of Trumbull, CT; Lynn Keeshan, and two granddaughters, Rebecca and Mikayla of Brookfield, CT.
He is also survived by three brothers, Robert O’Neill Keeshan of Burlington, VT; James Alfred Keeshan of North Kingstown, RI and Richard Hunt Keeshan of Montgomery, AL along with 7 nephews and nieces and their families.
Calling hours will be at Chadwick’s Funeral Home, 235 Main Street, New London, Thursday, July 21, from4-6:00 PM. A celebration of William’s life will take place at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, 724 Main Street, New London, on Friday, July 22 at 11:00 AM. Following the mass, please join the family for a reception at the Lake Sunapee Yacht Club. Memorial contributions on behalf of William F. Keeshan, Jr. can be made to the University of Vermont Foundation in Burlington, Vermont or to Lake Sunapee Region Visiting Nurse Association/Hospice, P.O. Box 2209, New London, New Hampshire 03257.