Robert P. “Bob” Keating, 85, former chief of the Iowa City Fire Department, died peacefully at his home Friday, April 26, 2013, surrounded by his family under the compassionate care of Iowa City Hospice.
Funeral services were held April 30 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Iowa City. In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established to support a number of causes important to Bob and his family. Online condolences may be sent for his family through the web at www.gayandciha.com .
Robert Peter Keating was born Sept. 1, 1927, in rural Iowa City, the son of Peter and Loretta (Rogers) Keating. He attended St. Patrick Catholic elementary and high school in Iowa City, graduating in 1947. Bob joined the Army National Guard that same year, then during the Korean War served his country honorably in the U.S. Army. Waiting for him upon his return home was Mary Margaret Patterson, whom he met, courted and proposed to, all within a two-week period in September 1950. They were married May 24, 1952, embarking on a love story of nearly 61 years, a story founded on the virtues of faith and family.
Bob was a lifelong resident of Iowa City. He joined the Iowa City Fire Department in 1956, becoming chief in December 1972 and retiring from the department in 1986. He was a faithful member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and acted as Grand Knight for the Knights of Columbus. While some people go through life receiving honors and recognition for their accomplishments, Bob preferred to serve unnoticed. He found the highest honor simply in being a good husband, dad, grandpa, great-grandpa, brother, friend and child of God. His quiet strength, exemplary faith and unwavering sense of right will forever be an inspiration. While we mourn his passing, even more, we celebrate his life.
“Your cause for sorrow must not be measured by his worth for then it hath no end.”
Bob is survived by his devoted wife, Maggie; his 10 children and their spouses, Mike (Martha) Keating; Brian (Bobbi) Keating; Kevin (Janet) Keating (Janet); Diana (Mark) Besler; Dan (Sheila) Keating; Tom (Shelly) Keating; and Bill (Jodi) Keating, all of Iowa City; Sharon (Chuck) Romans of North Liberty; and Commie Tucker (Brad) and Kate (Steve) Varcoe, both of Cedar Rapids; 28 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren; sisters, Eileen Foughty and Mary Melton; and brother, Cletus (Judy) Keating, all of Iowa City.