Thomas Keane Obituary, 89

WHITE RIVER JCT — A memorial mass will be celebrated for the lives of Tom and Elaine Keane on Monday, July 31 at Sacred Heart Church at 11 a.m. followed by a celebration at Ava Gallery and Art Center for Thomas J. Keane who passed away peacefully on July 4, one month after the passing of his beloved wife of 68 years, Elaine E. Keane.
Tom was born in Windsor on Aug. 1, 1927, son of Thomas F. Keane and Ethel F. Keane.
Tom graduated from West Lebanon High School where he captained several sports teams. Following his honorable discharge from the United States Coast Guard in 1946,
Tom attended Bryant and Stratton business school in Boston. Tom and Elaine were high school sweethearts, as evidenced by Elaine’s junior prom invitation and the dance card, which she saved where “Tommy” was lucky to have had both the first and last dance.
In 1949, Tom and Elaine opened Tom’s Toggery, later to be known as Tommy Keane Sports. Their store was the center of activity in downtown Lebanon where local politicians, city officials, coaches and customers gathered daily to shop and catch up on the local news. When the great fire of 1964 destroyed most of the commercial area of downtown Lebanon, it was Tom and Elaine that took the first steps of rebuilding the City they loved, by constructing a new store which opened in 1965.
Virtually every local, state and national politician made Tom and Elaine’s store a must stop on their campaigns. Tom lived by the motto that “the customer is always right” and instilled those virtues in his family and employees. He mentored hundreds of employees, many of whom went on to start their own businesses or launch successful careers. He was a generous and kind man who contributed greatly to the Lebanon community, especially to local sports and youth activities. He was instrumental in the growth of the Carter Community Building where he was chairman of the Board of Trustees. He also sat on the board of numerous other organizations, including the Lebanon Outing Club where he served as its President. He was proud to bring the Boston Celtics to town for a local fundraiser and to have sold the New England Patriots their football equipment when they were known as the Boston Patriots. Tommy Keane Sports was a major provider of athletic equipment to high schools and colleges throughout New England and Tom branded his own hockey stick, known as the “Keane” stick, which was used by teams such as UNH, Dartmouth, Yale and many more.
Tom was a superb athlete and a fierce competitor. He was a multiple winner of the club championships at Hanover Country Club, Carter Country Club and Woodstock Country Club. He was a regular on the New England amateur golf circuit, traveling to tournaments and usually stopping on the way home at the closest racetrack, where he “never lost”.
However, he reserved his greatest love for his wife Elaine, his three children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. For 68 years, he and Elaine shared a remarkable life together. They were deeply involved in their community, church and schools. Their contributions to their family and the Lebanon community will continue to be remembered for years to come.
When Elaine passed by his side on June 4 he knew it was time to go be with her.
He is survived by his brother Peter Keane and his sister Lucille Canavan. He was predeceased by his sisters Louise Mock and Gloria Atchinson and his brother Robert Keane. He is survived by his three children, Thomas M. Keane and his wife Mary Jane of Rye, New Hampshire, Kathryn K. Sehnal and husband Raymond of Pomfret, and James C. Keane and his wife Deborah of West Lebanon, New Hampshire; eight grandchildren, Jonathan Keane, Matthew Keane, Erin Sehnal, Meghan Sehnal Duff, Kevin Keane, Thomas Keane, Jennifer Keane and Christopher Keane; and seven great-grandchildren.
The family extends a heartfelt thank you to the staff of Valley Terrace and Bayada Hospice for their tremendous support.
Donations in his memory may be sent to the Pat Walsh Sneaker Fund, c/o Jim Vanier, Carter Community Building, PO Box 386, Lebanon, NH 03766 or the Lebanon Outing Club c/o Cory Grant PO Box 295, Lebanon, N.H. 03766.
Messages of condolence may be expressed with the family through an online guestbook by visiting
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  1. Mrs. Sehnal was my first grade teacher and the best that went through woodstock elementary school. God bless to you and your family.
    Mitch Sutherland

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