Margie Keane, long time Lakeside resident, noted writer and poet, died peacefully in her San Antonio Tlayacapan home on July 4, with her husband of 27 years by her side.
Margie had just celebrated her 90th birthday, having been born on July 1, 1933 on her grandparents’ farm in rural Oregon. Her family, who lived in California, had been spending the summer there.
Margie loved growing up in fast-paced California, but she enjoyed passing summers with her grandparents and their bucolic lifestyle as well. While attending Ventura Junior College, she excelled in business classes, served on the cheerleading squad and after graduation, worked in the Ventura College Admission Office. Here, Margie met her first husband, Carl Cecchini, who came from Connecticut to play football at Ventura.
The day Carl came to register for classes, he predicted to Margie that they would marry and have six children. True to his word, they wed in California, moved to Connecticut and raised their big family. Despite the rigors of child rearing, Margie worked as the secretary for three different principals over a span of years at a special education school. Upon her retirement, all three administrators declared they could not have run the school without her. She later worked for a luxury boat magazine as an in-house reporter, writing about yacht club activities around the world.
John, her youngest of six children, developed a brain tumor at age six, which resulted in his total blindness. With his mother’s positive attitude and fun loving sense of humor as his guide, he turned his handicap into inspiration. Margie faced another of life changing events when her husband died suddenly, leaving her a relatively young widow.
With the five older children now adults and John secure in a group home for the blind, Margie returned to her beloved California. She worked for the Registration Office at the Ventura County Government Center where she met her second husband, Tom Keane. They were married in Uncasville, CT on November 30, 1996. All of Margie’s children participated in the wedding and John performed the duties of best man.
Margie and Tom’s life at Lake Chapala began in September 2004. After visiting friends who had moved to Ajijic, they drove to Mexico, spent time in Manzanillo, and rented a house in Ajijic for three years. In 2007, to Tom’s amazement, Margie met with a realtor and they bought their house in San Antonio Tlayacapan that same day.
Lakeside, Margie loved to drive around town in her cranberry convertible, attend both Chapala and Ajijic Writers’ Groups and frequently offer her witty short stories with comical twists and her poetry to El Ojo del Lago magazine. She won the Best Humor Literary Award from that publication. Margie penned stirring tributes to her son, John, who died at age 36, sharing examples of his humorous approach to being blind. Writing her own eulogy years ago, one line sums up Margie Keane’s outlook on life and death. “Raise your glasses, not to my parting, but to the new adventure I’m just starting.”
Margie Keane is survived by her husband, Tom Keane, her five remaining adult children, Lori, Lisa, Carl, Julie and Robyn; 14 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held at Nueva Posada Hotel, Ajijic, Friday, July 21 at 10 a.m.