About Daniel Keenan Funeral Home
Daniel Keenan (Retired)
Dan Keenan knew from an early age that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a funeral director. After graduating from Christian Brothers Academy and the New York School of Embalming and Restorative Arts, Dan looked forward to the day when he could take over the business that his father had started in 1923. The business had been left to Dan’s mother, Josephine, after his father’s untimely death in 1942 at the age of 49. Dan served his apprenticeship at the Abbey Funeral Home in New York City and then spent two years in the Army during the Korean War. Upon his discharge from the service in 1955, he returned to Albany and assumed control of the business which was still operating at the original location at the corner of Jefferson and Dove Streets.
In 1957, Dan purchased 490 Delaware Avenue, a two family house at the corner of Delaware and Sparkill Avenues and moved the business there. The business continued to expand at this location incorporating additional properties and undergoing several renovations and additions. In 1992, Dan acquired the Norman E. Dascher Funeral Home, an old Albany firm, dating back to 1893 that was originally located at the corner of Arch and Broad Streets.
Dan married Theresa “Joyce” (Dembski) Keenan in 1957. Joyce was an art teacher at Albany High School until her retirement in 1980. After retirement, she joined Dan in the business serving as vice president –secretary and utilizing her background and expertise in cosmetology, presentation, decorating and design. Dan and Joyce raised two daughters, Marie P. Keenan, a funeral director who joined the family business in 1990 and succeeded her father as president upon his retirement in 2001 and Terri DeMaria an elementary school teacher in the Bethlehem School District until her retirement in 2017. They are the proud grandparents of four grandchildren, Dan and Tedi DeMaria and Liam and Aine Tobin.
Dan is a member and past president of the New York State Funeral Directors Association, a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, Normanside Country Club and the Helderberg Lake Community Association. He is a Communicant of St. James Church where he served as a trustee for over 35 years and is a continuing supporter and a past council president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. In 2004, Dan was recognized by The St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation with the Catherine McAuley Award in honor of his vision, guidance and support which has served to strengthen the mission of St. Peter’s Hospital and the work of the Religious Sisters of Mercy. Dan is an avid Notre Dame Football fan and a baseball fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Both Dan and Joyce are active in community affairs, particularly the Delaware Avenue Neighborhood Association and Friend’s of the Norman’s Kill Farm. In 2002, Joyce was recognized by the Neighborhood Resource Center with the Thomas J. Senchyna Neighborhood Service Award in honor of her bold vision and outstanding leadership that has improved the quality of life in the Delaware Area Neighborhood.
Dan and Joyce are retired and spend their free time enjoying their grandchildren and their home at Helderberg Lake in East Berne.
Marie Keenan joined the family business as a second career in 1990. Born and raised in Albany, Marie graduated from Mercy High School, Syracuse University where she received a Bachelors of Science degree in Nutrition, and from Hudson Valley Community College where she received an Associate’s Degree in mortuary Science.
Marie is a third generation funeral director, following in the family tradition started by her grandfather, Daniel A. Keenan in 1923 and her father Daniel G. Keenan. Upon her Dad’s retirement Marie became President of the Corporation.
She is an active working mom and is involved with her children’s school and sporting events. She is a member of the National Funeral Directors and New York State Funeral Directors Associations, a member of the Board of Associates at the College of St. Rose, and a former officer and current member of the Bethlehem Business Womens Club. Marie lives in Delmar with her two children Liam and Aine.
Gary F. O’Connor
Gary F. O’Connor, originally from Cairo, NY (Greene County), Gary is a first generation funeral director, having entered funeral service as a second career after twelve years of managerial experience in the hospitality industry. He earned an Associate Degree in Mortuary Science from HVCC in 1993 and after completing his residency with the Daniel Keenan Funeral Home, Inc., he became a licensed Funeral Director with the firm in 1994.
Upon Daniel Keenan’s retirement in 2001, Gary became a partner in the firm with Marie Keenan and James Weeks. He served as the Corporate Treasurer.
He is a communicant of St. James Church where he was a member of the adult choir, the Resurrection Choir and a cantor at Sunday Mass. He participated in fund raising activities at the church and is a financial supporter of the food pantry. Gary was a member of the National Funeral Directors and the New York State Funeral Directors Associations.
After 25 years of dedicated service to the profession and our funeral home, he has retired to Florida to join his family there. Gary has been an invaluable part of our team and we know how much families appreciated his sensitivity, gentle manner and kindness throughout the years. We all wish him the very best on his retirement.
A graduate of Hudson Valley Community College, he received his funeral directing license in 1984. He lives in Delmar with his wife and three children.