March 26, 1929 - January 14, 2022
Stephen Joseph Keane, beloved husband, father, grandfather, family man and friend; passed away peacefully in the early hours of January 14, 2022. He was born in a cold-water flat in Brooklyn, on March 26, 1929, the son of Catherine and Stephen Keane both Irish immigrants. He was the youngest of 4 and the Apple of his mother's eye. He grew up playing stick ball and basketball, and spending weekends at Rockaway beach as a young adult. It was in those days that he met his lifelong friend John Chironna at the age of 16 and then later his darling wife, Winnie. Recently John and Stephen had a visit together. Chip (John) told Steve that he was the luckiest man to have the best life-long friend in you, and my Steve replied no, it is I, who is the luckiest man. Stephen was the first in the family to go to college and when he was admitted into the prestigious Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn to study engineering; he was set on a new course of unbridled opportunity and further education. He loved being a student. He married his lovey Winnie on April 11, 1953. Stephen was offered the opportunity to join the army as a missile flight instructor and stay state side. He leapt at the opportunity. As always Stephen, an avid reader found ways to have fun. He made the best of times reading books on hypnotism and hypnotizing his army mates. He was getting very good at it he said and decided, "better quit while I am ahead!" Coming out of the army and being a young married couple, Steve went on to secure his Master of Science degree in Industrial and Management Engineering from Columbia University. He did all his schooling at night and worked a full-time job during the day. He was the sales manager at Sperry in government contracts. All the while, Winnie was working as an executive secretary at Lockheed. Soon after that, the young couple finally got the long-awaited news that they had been waiting 7 years for. There was a baby ready for adoption. Steve and Winnie welcomed Nora and 3 years later John, into their loving home. As a young family of 4, Steve took the family out to restaurants on Sundays to expose them to other international cuisines and the best filet mignon and Maine lobster money could buy. It's no wonder both of his children became very good cooks! Jones Beach playing shuffleboard, going to Church on Sundays, and visiting relatives monthly were all family traditions. The innovative entrepreneur began his computer career in the 1960's. He partnered with a business associate and started Bucode in Happague NY. This was when computers were the size of football fields (and the units that housed them were kept bracingly cold to avoid overheating.) He understood early on the importance of proactively offering solutions for computer systems and built several successful companies upon that premise. Stephen was VP of Mohawk Data Science which acquired Bucode moving the family to upstate NY. From there he became President at companies including Sorbus in King of Prussica PA, and Basic Four of Tustin, CA. He also sat on numerous company boards and was valued as a consultant. Steve was also a founding member of the Forum for Corporate Directors, Orange County, as well as initiating an earthquake monitoring lab in Laguna Woods. Stephen traveled throughout the world as a businessman and was inducted as a distinguished member of the Pan American Clipper Club, a precursor to the million-miler club. The company presented him with a framed map, highlighting all his routes, as thanks for his loyalty. And on every trip, he went, he returned home with gifts and stories that especially captivated his daughter’s heart. In 1980 Steve and Winnie moved to California. After Steves early retirement, they were very active in sports playing tennis together and made many friends through the club. They entertained their family and friends at their wonderful home in Big Bear where his children skied, and grandchildren learned to fish, and great memories were dished out for all. Stephen was also Pop Pop extraordinaire and signed his grandsons up for all kinds of programs including swimming, pirate ship tours, and a Disney Land cruise. He was creative and let the boys build things in their Special Garage that he created for them, in his office. It was also during this time that his love and kindness were so evident the way he cared for his wife when she became ill. He was there for her daily. He also mentored numerous people with an overabundance of kindness, support, and integrity. His keen interest in other points of view crossed all boundaries. From a little girl across the street, to custodial staff, secretaries, fellow engineers, dining room waiters and extensive family member. Steve listened to what people had to say. Throughout his life he could be counted on for unwavering support, well-reasoned good advice, and a very hearty laugh. He was a perfect teacher. He shared perspective and knowledge but ultimately encouraged people to find their own solutions to situations, whether it was his son building a model airplane, his daughter rehearsing her lines, a friend tackling a significant life decision or a niece trying to solve math problems. He was a gentleman in all the right ways and, despite being from a certain generation raised on various sexist principles, Uncle Stevie was the favorite uncle of numerous feminist nieces as well as his many nephews. He always encouraged others to travel, pursue dreams and embrace life. He was a man who believed - and often proved – that life’s challenges could be resolved by a reasoned discussion over dinner. This was also the perfect setting to celebrate life’s accomplishments, a joy he experienced many times over as he demonstrated that family, faith, and friends were the epicenter of a life well-lived. Steve is survived by his daughter Nora, Laguna Beach, his son John and daughter-in-law Ann of Mission Viejo. He was the loving Pop-Pop of their children Tully, Phoenix, Az; Blake, Austin, Tx. and Rory, Flagstaff, Az. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Winnie, his parents Catherine and Stephen and siblings Alice, Kitty and John. He will be forever lovingly remembered by multiple generations of his son, nieces and nephews, grand children, and God daughters throughout the country. Friends and acquaintances are invited to attend a funeral mass at St. Nicholas Church in Laguna Woods on February 19, at 11 am. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, Stephen’s favorite charities were the Hydrocephalus Association and the Salvation Army.
Stephen Joseph Keane, beloved husband, father, grandfather, family man and friend; passed away peacefully in the early hours of January 14, 2022. He was born in a cold-water flat in Brooklyn, on March 26, 1929, the son of Catherine and Stephen... View Obituary & Service Information
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