Remembering Joseph S. Keelty '40

Joseph S. Keelty '40, one of the greatest champions of McDonogh School, passed away on Sunday, April 10 after a brief illness. Joe loved McDonogh to the core, and through the years he selflessly devoted his time and resources to furthering the mission of the school.

A member of the Board of Trustees from 1970 to 1981, Joe served as President from 1977 to 1981 and was later named Trustee Emeritus. As a result of his immense contributions to our community, he received the Distinguished Service Award in 1981 and was elected as a John McDonogh Fellow in 1982.

Joe was a huge believer in McDonogh’s Scholarship Program, and his legacy will live on and continue to provide opportunities for deserving students for generations to come.

The following description of Joe, written by former Headmaster Bill Mules ’59, was published in the 1990 issue of McDonogh Magazine. It speaks volumes about Joe Keelty and his incredible contributions to McDonogh School.

If the life of an institution is touched by a few persons of generosity, dignity, and wisdom, then that school is, indeed, fortunate. Having the vision to see what needs to be done and the leadership to make it a reality – such is the domain of an outstanding trustee. In the tradition of outstanding Board Chairmen such as Bartlett, Finney, Hunt, Sangston, and Elderkin, Joe Keelty has left an indelible mark upon his School, a legacy of dedication, kindness, and hope that will, like the building that is named in his honor, be a permanent commitment to the students and teachers of his School.

The Joe Keelty that McDonogh knows, the classmate, the benefactor, the trustee, the spectator at athletic contests –honest, caring, smiling, sincerely interested in everyone he meets, jovial, gracious, charming –that's the real Joe Keelty –the same man who is dedicated and hardworking, doggedly persistent, both in his business affairs and in doing good works on behalf of others.

For all the McDonogh students whose futures have been and will be served by his kindness and foresight, we offer our sincere appreciation to Joseph Sheridan Keelty.

Joe will forever hold the admiration and appreciation of his McDonogh Family.

For more on Joe's remarkable life of 93 years, read his obituary in The Baltimore Sun .


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McDonogh School | 410.363.0600 |
8600 McDonogh Road | Owings Mills | Maryland | 21117