Amherst Magazine

John H. McKeon, Jr. '71

John H. McKeon, Jr. '71, died December 11, 2009.
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JOHN H. McKEON, JR. ’71

 Friends remember John for his intelligence, his kindness, his wry humor, his sense of fun and his absolute joy in sports.

 John was born in Garden City, L.I., to John H. McKeon, Sr. ’49 and Joan McKeon. He moved with his family at age 13 to Moorestown, N.J., graduating in 1967 from Moorestown Friends School, where he played baseball and soccer and was a starting guard on the state championship basketball team.

 At Amherst, he won the American Studies prize his freshman year with a paper he drafted on paper napkins while working in Valentine Dining Hall. He majored in English and was part of a close circle of friends who roomed in Pratt as freshmen and stayed together all four years.

 John was a natural athlete. He played on the Amherst soccer team and excelled at intramural sports. His fellow players remember especially his moves on the basketball court—a step-back set shot that he’d often fake and then drive inside to score or dish off to a teammate. He had an encyclopedic memory for sports trivia.

 He was at Amherst during the turbulent Vietnam War period and attended the Woodstock music festival in 1969 with Amherst friends.

 He went on to CornellLawSchool, where he was at the top of his class and on the Law Review.

 He was a partner at the Philadelphia law firm of Conrad O’Brien, where he’s remembered as a brilliant legal writer and “clearly the most dedicated and smartest attorney I ever worked with,” according to partner Howard Klein.

 John’s funeral was Dec. 16 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Moorestown, where his parents were married in 1948 and where he volunteered extensively in recent years.

 He’s survived by his parents, sisters Lucy McKeon (Brad Armstrong) and Amy Wallace (Scott) and brother Tom (Mary Whited), and he’s greatly missed by his Amherst friends.

—Tom Tolan ’71

 

 

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