Deceased July 4, 2023
Margie Keane, longtime Lakeside resident, noted writer and poet, died peacefully in her San Antonio Tlayacapan home on July 4, 2023, with her husband of 27 years by her side. Margie had just celebrated her 90th birthday, having been born on July 1, 1933, on her grandparents’ farm in rural Glendale, Oregon. Her family, who lived in California, had been visiting there for the summer.
Margie loved growing up in fast-paced California, but she enjoyed spending summers with her grandparents and their bucolic lifestyle as well. While attending Ventura Junior College, she excelled in business classes, served on the cheerleading squad and after graduation, worked in the Ventura College Admission Office. Here, Margie met her first husband, Carl Cecchini, who came from Connecticut to play football at Ventura.
On the day Carl registered for classes, he predicted to Margie that they would marry and have six children. Events unfolded as foretold. They wed in California, moved to Connecticut, and started their big family. Despite the rigors of child rearing, Margie found time to work as the secretary for three different principals over a span of years at a special education school. On her retirement, all three administrators declared they could not have run the school without her. Later, she worked for a luxury boat magazine as an in-house reporter, writing about yacht club activities around the world.
John, her youngest of six children, developed a brain tumor at age six, which resulted in his total blindness. With his mother’s positive attitude and fun-loving sense of humor as his guide, he turned this handicap into inspiration. Margie faced another of life’s unexpected turns when her husband died suddenly, leaving her a relatively young widow.
With the five older children now adults and John secure and content in a group home for the blind, Margie returned to her beloved California for a time. She worked for the Registration Office at the Ventura County Government Center where she met her second husband, Tom Keane. They were married in Uncasville, CT, on November 30, 1996. All of Margie’s children participated in the wedding and John performed the duties of best man.
Margie and Tom’s life at Lake Chapala began in September 2004. After visiting friends who had moved to Ajijic, they drove to Mexico, spent some time in Manzanillo, and rented a house in Ajijic for three years. In 2007, to Tom’s amazement, Margie met with a realtor and they bought their house in San Antonio Tlayacapan that same day.
Margie’s favorite pastimes Lakeside included driving around town in her cranberry convertible and participating in the writing community as a member of the Chapala and the Ajijic Writers’ Groups. Her numerous short stories, most with a dry wit and comical twist, and her poetry have been featured in El Ojo del Lago magazine. She won the Best Humor Literary Award from that publication. In her many stirring tributes to her son John, who died at age 36, she showcased how he approached his blindness with humor and grace.
Margie Keane is survived by her husband, Tom Keane, her five remaining adult children; Lori, Lisa, Carl, Julie and Robyn, 14 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.
In her own eulogy, written years ago, one line sums up Margie Keane’s outlook on life and death. “Raise your glasses, not to my parting, but to the new adventure I’m just starting.” She was a vital, fun-loving, free spirit. The clever way she wove humor though her stories will be missed by the Lakeside community. One fellow writer put it this way, “I loved Margie – didn’t everyone?”
For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com