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Patricia Anne Keating
August 31, 1943 ~ March 12, 2022 (age 78) 78 Years Old
Patricia Anne Keating, age 78, of Wauwatosa, WI, passed away peacefully on March 12, 2022. Pat was born on 8/31/1943 to Joseph and Mary Louise Keating, the first of 12 children. Pat had many physical challenges in her life, beginning with losing her vision at age 7. For many years, Pat attended the Wisconsin School for the visually handicapped in Janesville, WI, returning to Thorp WI, for summers, vacations and holidays. Some of her holidays were spent with beloved relatives close to Madison, WI, where Pat got to know many of her great aunts and uncles, cousins and other relatives. Pat learned braille and the use of many helpful tools for use by the visually handicapped. She spent her Junior and Senior years of high school back in Thorp, was a member of the National Honor Society, and participated in plays. Pat also attended the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire, for a year.
Pat overcame many obstacles in her journey towards having a remarkable career. Moving to Milwaukee in 1969, Pat took an opportunity to spend several months at the Arkansas Enterprises for the Blind in Little Rock, Arkansas, that included training for a role with the IRS. She began working in Milwaukee at the IRS in 1970 answering taxpayer questions. Pat paved the way in Milwaukee, being the first visually handicapped person to hold this position. She was featured on local news articles and on TV. In 1985, Pat received the Federal Handicapped Employee of the Year award in Milwaukee
Pat had a great sense of humor, and when talking to friends and family about working for the IRS, she would quip “you make it, we take it!”.
Pat lived at the Badger initially, a residence for visually handicapped adults, and was very active in the Badger Association, serving on the Board of Directors, and as co-editor of a magazine. Being a very talented musician, Pat played piano for many Badger parties and family parties, and sing-a-longs. She could play any song by ear. Pat then lived in her own apartment for many years, taking the bus to work to downtown Milwaukee, making many friends along the way.
Pat retired in 1990 from the IRS, after almost 20 years, with an open house held in her honor by the IRS, and a local tv station interviewing Pat.
Pat’s retirement years were filled with volunteer work. She worked with Volunteers for the Visually Handicapped at the Milwaukee Public Library. In Pat’s words “The job is great and the pay is just right: self satisfaction in helping others, and meeting many interesting people” Pat participated in the Badger’s speakers bureau, where she gave talks to grade school students about living with blindness, showing them how she does things. A favorite was for her to hand out riddles to the students typed in braille, give them a card showing what dot configuration matched each letter of the alphabet, and watch them figure out the riddles. Pat also participated in a rosary group where she made hundreds of rosaries that went to people across the world.
Pat participated in many classes and activities and was a part of making many quilts. She loved to knit and crochet, and made countless lap robes, baby quilts, and towelettes. Pat was a prolific reader of braille books, and in the past few years, has listened to hundreds of audio books.
Most of all, Pat loved her family and friends, and enjoyed taking many trips over the years visiting with family members. She was an outstanding communicator in the Keating family, keeping everyone informed and connected. Pat enjoyed talking to everyone, and family members always knew that Pat had the answers. In later years, family had frequent group calls which Pat loved. Pat was deeply religious, and lived her faith every day. She was always thankful, and optimistic, and very kind to everyone. She oftentimes referred back to what our mother Mary Louise Keating told her at a young age “Bloom where you are planted”, and that is exactly what Pat did. It took tremendous optimism and courage for Pat to overcome obstacles as she did, from a very young age, creating for herself a full and rewarding life. Heaven will be so lucky to gain an angel like Pat.
Pat is survived by 10 siblings, many in laws, nieces and nephews, cousins and others. Beloved Siblings: Joe (Diane) Keating from Atlanta, GA, Terry (Julie) Keating from Sturgeon Bay, WI, Kathy Keating from Lakewood, CO, David (Connie) Keating from Zambia, Sue (Dave) Peters from Oconomowoc WI, Mary Jo Keating (Duane Johnson) from Fond du Lac, WI, Paula (Jim) Jagels from Evergreen, CO, Claire (Bud) Moore from Evergreen, CO, Robert Keating from Waukesha, WI, and Lorrie (Jack) Heinemann from Waunakee, WI. Pat was preceded in death by her parents Joseph and Mary Louise Keating, one sister, Jean Marie Keating, and one nephew, Joey A. Keating. Pat is also survived by very dear friends that were so important to her.
The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to Pat’s Harwood family and staff, and to her caretakers from Horizon Home Care & Hospice. They truly were angels in Pat’s time of need.
If desired, donations can be made to Vision Forward Association in Pat’s memory (Vision Forward Association, 912 N. Hawley Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53213).
A memorial mass with visitation will take place on Friday May 13th at St. Vincent Pallotti Catholic Church (201 N 76th St., Milwaukee, WI) with visitation from 10 AM – 11 AM with a mass to follow.
A celebration of Pat’s life and burial of cremated remains will take place at a later date in summer, in Pat’s hometown of Thorp, Wisconsin.