Lafayette “Laf” Keeney, 89, of Fenwick in Old Saybrook, husband of the late Janet (Hale) Keeney (2002), entered into eternal peace, Thursday, February 18, 2016 at Yale New Haven Hospital. Lafayette was born on December 18, 1926 in Somersville, CT and was the youngest of six children of Ralph and Julia (Allen) Keeney. He grew up in Somersville and attended Valley Forge Military Academy (not as a problem child, he really wanted to go), received his high school diploma from Norwich University and his college diploma from Nichols College. He served honorably in the United States Army as part of the force that occupied Germany at the conclusion of World War II. He married Janet Hale of Portland, CT in August 1950 and moved to Somers, CT where they raised their family of three sons. Each is married today and Lafayette proudly has eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He spent his entire business life at Sage-Allen & Co., a specialty department store headquartered in Hartford until his retirement as Chairman and CEO in 1990. Throughout his professional career, Lafayette served on the boards of many local companies and institutions including the Hartford Chamber of Commerce, Arthur A. Watson & Co., Fleet Bank, Hartford Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, Suffield Academy, and Nichols College. He was a sixty year Mason and a member of Composite Lodge #28 in Suffield and a member of Royal Order of Jesters, Court #141 in Hartford. He was the longest serving member and past Commodore of the Canoe Club in East Hartford. He was a member of the Westbrook Elks Lodge 1784. He was a member of the First Church of Christ in Old Saybrook. Lafayette and Janet built their dream house and moved to the Fenwick section of Old Saybrook in 1988. He was very active in the community serving many years as a member of the Board of Burgesses and elected to three terms as Warden. He had a lifelong passion for the New York Yankees and was at the Stadium when Don Larsen pitched the perfect game in the 1956 World Series. He enjoyed coffee and conversation each morning with his buddies in Old Saybrook. They spent many hours planning the annual Scum Beach Picnic. His door was always open for old friends to visit and if he wasn’t at his house, odds were you could find him on the golf course or chasing bluefish up and down the beach. Lafayette is survived by his three sons, Frank D. Keeney and his wife Beverly of Old Saybrook, CT, Ralph D. Keeney and his wife Cathy of Cortland, NY, and Jeffrey H. Keeney and his wife Caryn of Portland, OR; a sister, Julia Ann Walton and her husband Bill of Fenwick; eight grandchildren; five great grandchildren. Besides his wife Janet, Lafayette was predeceased by a granddaughter, Emily; three brothers, Norm, Bud, and Tom; and a sister, Caroline.
Charles Francis Lyons, 77, of North Elm Street, passed away Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, at Cooley Dickinson Hospital.
Born Nov. 17, 1939, at the same hospital, he was the son of the late Francis and Nora (Crane) Lyons. He graduated from Williston School and Columbia University, where he became president of the Sigma Chi fraternity and a member of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. Charlie would meet the love of his life, Susette DuPuy, while working as head waiter in the dining room of Columbia’s graduate dormitory.
After graduation, Charlie served in the Navy as a Lieutenant JG on the USS Bellatrix. Upon completing his naval service, he married his beloved Susette in 1964, and the newlyweds returned to Charlie’s hometown where he worked as a chartered life underwriter at the family-owned Francis P. Lyons Insurance Agency on King Street. He later sold the agency in the early 1980’s and became a commercial real estate developer in both Northampton and Springfield. Charlie transformed several buildings in the area into vibrant places for business and veteran’s services, including the Todd’s Department Store building on Main Street.
Charlie was an active figure in Northampton’s civic and business communities. He was instrumental in creating the Northampton Recycling Center on Locust Street, served as president of the Northampton Rotary Club, was an active member of the Elks Lodge, and served on the boards of numerous local institutions, including the Chamber of Commerce. His last project was helping to donate a new boat launch for the Northampton Rowing Club in honor of his late brother Thomas.
He leaves his wife Susette; sons Matthew of New York City, and Michael of Peoria, Arizona; grandchildren Isabel, Jake and Chloe; nephew Marc of Ludlow; and niece, Margot of Isle de Capri, Florida.