Submitted by his Family
John’s interest in the fire service began at an early age. John’s grandfather‚ also a Waterbury Firefighter‚ rose to the rank of Captain‚ was a great influence on John’s decision to join the Waterbury Fire Department.
John was hired by the Waterbury Fire Department on September 12th 1994 as part of the largest recruit class in Waterbury Fire Department history‚ dubbed the ‘Fabulous Fifty’. John’s attention to detail and work ethic made him a shining star in the department‚ destined for greatness. John was quickly promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2001‚ then to captain in 2007. His last assignment was as Company Commander of Engine Company 8 located in the Bunker Hill section of Waterbury.
John was born‚ raised and lived in Waterbury‚ CT. A City he loved and believed in as much as the Fire Department in which he served. John attended Sacred Heart High school and remained active in the Waterbury Catholic School system as his own children entered into it. Upon graduation of high school John attended the Central Connecticut State University earning his Bachelor’s of Science in History.
John gave back to the City he loved‚ becoming active in the East Mountain Community Club‚ East Mountain Sports Association‚ and other benevolent organizations. Even upon assignment to a district outside of his normal involvement‚ his first duty was to contact the neighborhood association and introduce himself and offer his and the services of the Waterbury Fire Department. John was an instrumental part in all the Waterbury neighborhoods‚ never shying away from a controversial subject‚ and always on the side of those he felt needed his help the most.
John was a statesman in every sense of the word who lobbied not only for City of Waterbury Firefighters but for firefighters across the state of Connecticut and indeed the firefighters across the Country. On any given day off John could be found on his own time meeting with a local legislator‚ state official or even members of Congress.
John served as Secretary of Waterbury Firefighter’s Association IAFF Local 1339. John participated in and led numerous activities to better the union local and department. John was instrumental in the passage of legislation to protect not only Firefighter’s rights and safety but all municipal workers. Those who remember John will always remember his willingness to campaign the plight of the downtrodden with respect‚ dignity and courtesy. Even John’s staunchest critics have eulogized him as a consummate gentleman.
John’s true passion was his family. John married his high school sweetheart Monica and had two wonderful children daughter Erica 11‚ and son John 9. John taught his children the basics of civic responsibility and the importance of being involved by showing them. John was devoted to his family and worked tirelessly to ensure their future. At anytime John could be found helping a neighbor or total stranger with a chore or project.
On May 19th‚ 2007 Captain John Keane was responding to a kitchen fire in his first due district when his Engine was involved in a collision with another responding apparatus. Captain Keane was transported to Waterbury Hospital and later transported to Yale University Hospital in New Haven‚ CT where he succumbed to his injuries on May 22‚ 2007. He will be greatly missed by a saddened‚ yet grateful family‚ department and city.
Submitted by a Chief Officer
Captain John Keane had 13 years of service with the Waterbury Fire Department and was active in his union – Local 1339.
He is survived by his wife‚ Monica; daughter‚ Erica and son‚ John.