Alan Ross McKeown died peacefully at home on Sunday, April 26, 2020 after a long battle with COPD. With family at his side, his feisty Irish spirit was released from his worn-out body and is no doubt now raising hell in heaven!
An avid admirer of Winston Churchill, his favorite quote was “Never, never, never give up.” And Al never did. Whether it was as an amazing athlete (Hockey, Football, Rowing, Tennis), winning over a tough customer during his 30+ award winning years in yellow pages advertising sales, negotiating one of his many successful real estate transactions, or arguing about politics, his grit and determination were legendary. He refused to let his illness slow him down and was active and fully engaged in life until the very end. Two days before his passing, he was sipping his favorite Molson beer (imported by him from Canada) with his grandchildren, sharing laughs and favorite memories together for a bittersweet final happy hour.
Al was born in Montreal, Quebec and spent his young adult years in Ottawa, Ontario. He immigrated to California in 1960 to work for Pacific Bell. Although he was happy to become a U.S. Citizen in 1972, Al never lost his deep love for anything Canadian…however, he did switch alliances from the Montreal Canadiens to the San Jose Sharks (as an original chartered season ticket holder) much to the chagrin of his relatives. His rabid passion for hockey was passed on to his grandchildren who attended many Sharks matches with him (often trying to hide from fellow fans as Al yelled “Hiiiit Someone!” over and over).
“Poppa Al” was a beloved husband to Joanne Highiet McKeown, amazing father to Leslie McKeown Philbrook, Richard Philbrook and Daniel James McKeown, generous stepfather to Lisa Highiet, Melinda Crawford and Douglas Highiet, proud grandfather to Sara and Adam Crawford and Nicholas and Shannon Philbrook, doting great grandfather to Jordyn and Taylor Wallace, and a friend to almost everyone he met (hockey referees excluded).
A Celebration of Life will be planned for after we are all able to congregate. As we all continue to shelter in place for safety during the COVID pandemic, we ask that everyone who remembers Al celebrate his life in their own way…raising a favorite cocktail in his memory and yelling “Go Sharks!” would be quite appropriate.
In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make a donation in Al’s name to either the San Jose Sharks Foundation (https://sharksfoundation.org) or the Salvation Army (https://give.salvationarmyusa.org/).
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Alan R. McKeown, please visit our floral store.