New York Times Portraits of Grief

 
A LIFE LIVED TO MUSIC
Richard M. Keane
POG

Here are pictures of Richard M. Keane: a man in exceptionally grubby clothes tending his garden while a boom box blasted out Orbison or Puccini; coming home from a business trip and telling his wife, Judy Keane, about the man he met on a plane; riding the commuter bus from his home off the village green of Wethersfield, Conn., to the Marsh & McLennan office in Hartford. (Mr. Keane, a senior vice president, was making a rare trip to Marsh's World Trade Center office for a meeting on Sept. 11.)

Mr. Keane, who exuded friendliness, loved to collect stories about people on his constant business travels. He believed in public transportation as a public good. He loved to garden, bringing to life 80 tomato plants this year and growing Connecticut field pumpkins every fall for the children in his extended family. "Dick was always trying to foist vegetables off on people," Mrs. Keane said.

And his life was done to music. "If I ask him to put up a picture for me, he can't do that until the music is going," she said. He was not the greatest singer, but sang in the choir of Sacred Heart Church, where he would shuttle several blind women on most Sundays.

A brother-in-law, Dr. Thomas C. Dolan, remembers Mr. Keane's constant coaching as father of five sons, the marathons he started at age 40, the communal house paintings every year. "The glass of water was always half-full for this guy," Dr. Dolan said.