James Keegan, a former president of Ursuline Academy, died Nov. 15. He was 84.
Keegan and his wife, Katie, were longtime supporters of Ursuline. They became involved with the school in 1979 when their daughter KK Proefrock began attending the Upper School. She graduated in 1984, and daughter Erin Barillare followed in 1995. Over the years, Keegan served the school in a number of roles, including interim president, member and president of the board of trustees, member of the finance committee and strategic planning committee, and others. The annual golf outing of which he is the namesake and was a sponsor, the Jim Keegan Golf Outing, will mark its 25th anniversary in 2022.
After Keegan retired from the Dupont Co. as a global marketing director, he became interim president of Ursuline from 2003-05. He led several initiatives, including implementing a strategic plan, expanding and enhancing academic and athletic facilities, and adding early childhood programming. Enrollment and fundraising grew under his leadership.
A native of Scranton, Pa., he was a longtime member of St. Ann’s Parish in Wilmington. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and spent two years as a naval officer aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid. He worked at Dupont for 38 years.
The beneficiaries of his volunteer work included Catholic Charities, St. Edmond’s Academy, Salesianum School, Holy Cross Education Ministry, Catholic Youth Ministry, the Ministry of Caring, the St. Patrick’s Day Society and other organizations.
In addition to his wife and daughters, he is survived by sons James Jr. and his wife Karen, Michael and his wife Margaret, and Kevin and his wife Cindy; sons-in-law Scott Proefrock and Jody Barillare; and 17 grandchildren.
Visitation will be Nov. 21 at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church, 10 Old Church Road, Greenville, from 4-7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial is on Nov. 22 at 10 a.m. at St. Ann’s Church, 2013 Gilpin Ave., Wilmington. Burial will be in St. Joseph on the Brandywine Cemetery.
Donations in his name can be made to the Ministry of Caring, 115 E. 14th St., Wilmington, DE 19801, or the St. Vincent de Paul Society, c/o St. Ann’s Parish, 2013 Gilpin Ave., Wilmington, DE 19806.