Mary Ann Keenan, Councilwoman for 26 Years, 91, Passes Away


WPCNR MILESTONES. From Mrs. Keenan’s Obituary. October 3, 2019:

Mary Ann Keenan, a fifty-seven-year White Plains resident and a fixture in local and New York State politics for decades, passed away peacefully at home on September 29, 2019. She was 91 years old.

Born on May 21, 1928, in Evanston, Illinois to John Lizars and Agnes (née Mahony) Lizars, Mary Ann Lizars graduated from Harvard University (Radcliffe College) in 1949. She married William Keenan in 1950 and was an avid member of the League of Women Voters in Wallingford, CT prior to her arrival in White Plains.

In 1974, with two children in college and three in high school, Mrs. Keenan was elected to the White Plains Common Council, where she served with passion for the next twenty-six years. What endeared her to her constituents was not how long she served but how fiercely principled she was during her tenure.

A former chair of the White Plains Democratic City Committee, she was willing to speak truth to power, even when that truth upset her own party.

She endeavored to clarify what was best for the residents of White Plains and then advocate for that, regardless of party platform. When developers tried to take advantage, she was a spotlight.

When public employees asked for too much, she could say no. She was unusually practical and fair. She was always ethical.

The only time she became defensive was when someone derided the role of government. She vehemently believed that government served a vital role and that elected officials had a sacred duty to see that the government they were chosen to lead was not hobbled by self-seekers or incompetence.

Mrs. Keenan loved to travel off the beaten path, and when she left White Plains, there were no boundaries. She walked the world to find its beauty and magnificence, from Cape Cod to Patagonia, stopping in almost every national park. Locally she was frequently found at Tod’s Point in Greenwich or wending through the sculpture garden at Purchase.

Mrs. Keenan is survived by her five children: Christopher LeeKeenan, Gregory Keenan, Leslie Keenan, Geoffrey Keenan, and Dr. Joel Keenan; their spouses and partners: Debbie LeeKeenan, Patricia Keenan, John Sullivan, Oxana Keenan, and Heidi Jordan; her brother, John Lizars; and her thirteen grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, November 2nd from 2-4pm, location to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the ACLU –

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