November 23, 1926 – August 29, 2017
John F. Keating, age 90, of Atkinson, Nebraska, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 29 at his home surrounded by family. Visitation with family will be on Friday September 1 from 4-8 pm at Seger Funeral Home in Atkinson with a Prayer service at 7 pm. A funeral service celebrating his life will be held on Saturday September 2 at 1030 AM at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Atkinson followed by burial service at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Atkinson. The family welcomes Husker red spirit wear to celebrate John’s love for Nebraska and Nebraska football.
John was born in Atkinson on November 23, 1926 to Rose (Tushla) and Phillip Keating. His mother passed away from illness a few days after John’s birth. His father remarried Carrie Wabs who loved and raised John as her own. John lived his entire life in a Atkinson aside from service in the military. He graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in May 1945 leaving the day after graduation for basic training in the U.S. Army. He served in the U.S. Army through January 1947 and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant.
John returned to Atkinson in 1947 joining his brother Robert and father Phillip as the third generation to operate an International Harvester farm equipment sales and service company named Keating Implement which was founded by their Grandfather Frank Keating in 1912 and operated as F.M. Keating & Sons. John operated the company through 1985 and continued to trade equipment through his 85th birthday. In 1989 John leased and then sold his farm equipment dealership building and property to Boyd and Sue Mitchell of Atkinson who established Mitchell Equipment now one of the largest employers in Atkinson.
On September 6, 1952, John was united in marriage to the love of his life, Dolores Batenhorst of Stuart. 8 children were born to John and Dolores Mary Rose, Maureen, Phillip, Patrick, Mark, James, Matthew and Gerard . John and Dolores were united in marriage until her death in 2008.
John lived a full life. Family, friends and business were his priority. He was a life learner reading multiple newspapers each day and books often. He loved hunting, fishing and traveling with family and friends.
John will be remembered for his spirit, energy and his famous one-liner words of wisdom, which his family referred to as Johnisms. He loved Atkinson, Holt County and the many communities throughout the Nebraska Sandhills in which he conducted business.
Left to cherish John’s memory are his daughter Mary Rose (Gene) Schaaf of Emmet, Nebraska. Sons, Phillip of Atkinson, NE, Patrick (Liza) of Lyon, France, James (Natalie) of Cody, Nebraska, Matt (Jill) of Kearney, Nebraska and Gerard of Naples, FL. Son-in-law Takashi (Mary) Tsuchyia of Norwalk, CT. Brother-in-laws Don Vande of Norman, OK, Mike (Elaine) Batenhorst of Kearney, NE. Sister-in-laws Maureen Flynn of Sioux Falls, SD, Judy Batenhorst of Plymouth, MA and Marvel Jean Corkery of Scottsdale. 14 grandchildren Mark Schaaf, Andrew Schaaf, Sarah Schaaf Sell, Hannah Tsuchiya, Vassily Keating, Ian Keating, Jake Keating, Kaitlin Keating, Dalton Keating, Zachary Keating, Adam Keating, Jack Keating, Alec Keating and Reese Keating. 6 great-grandchildren Hailey Schaaf, Taylor Schaaf, Logan Schaaf, Cameron Schaaf, Robert Keating and Nolan Sell along with many nieces and nephews.
John was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Maurice, Robert, Mary Ellen and Patrick, wife of 56 years, Dolores, daughter Maureen Keating Tsuchiya in 2006 and son Mark Keating in 1967.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Dolores Batenhorst Keating Memorial Scholarship established with the the Atkinson based West Holt Medical Services Foundation to support residents of Atkinson and Holt County Nebraska seeking college degrees in the medical field.