John Keating, Fargo, died on January 1, 2010, while on vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC.
John was born on June 7, 1943, in Chicago, Illinois, to John J. and Della (Rowan) Keating. He grew up and was educated in Chicago, graduating from Leo High School in 1961. While in high school he played on the football team which earned him a football scholarship to the University of Illinois where he played ball with the legendary Dick Butkus. He suffered a career-ending football injury which led to his transfer to Southern Illinois University where he graduated with a major in mathematics.
Outside of his family, extended family and religion, John was extremely loyal and dedicated to his career and job as a Special Agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which job he started and served with distinction in St. Louis, MO in April1971 and served there until 1984 when he was re-assigned to the Fargo ATF office. While in St. Louis, he successfully worked undercover against many members of organized crime which lead to long prison sentences. John was highly respected by fellow law enforcement members for his expertise and devotion to working undercover. From 1985 to 1998, John was stationed in Fargo assisting local law enforcement in enforcing firearm laws, both on the local and federal level. In 1998 he transferred to Washington, DC to work in the national office for ATF. He was stationed there until he reached his mandatory retirement in June 2000.
During his career with ATF, John was especially proud of the times he spent being assigned to assist the Secret Service in guarding and protecting presidential candidates on the campaign trail and other dignitaries both foreign and domestic.
Retiring in 2000, John moved back to Fargo where he had maintained his residence up to the time of his death. He also spent much time at his lake cottage near Park Rapids, MN, when he wasn’t traveling the various parts of the world. John’s love of travel included many trips to his parents’ homeland of Ireland. One of his more recent and memorable trips was by freighter around the world. He traveled to the mainland of Europe many times, as well as to Africa, Asia, and Australia. He had a dream to travel and set foot on Antarctica – but unfortunately this dream will not be fulfilled.
John will be deeply missed by his family and his enormous extended family of friends who respected and loved his deep devotion and unending friendship.
A memorial service for John Keating will be held at Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo, on January 28, 2010, at 10:30am with Father Peter Hughes conducting the service.
Arrangements entrusted to the care of Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo