IN MEMORIAM Michael J. McKeon passed away on Saturday, February 25, 2012 in Newark, NJ.
I’ve been Michael’s roommate for the past two years, and shared many a room with him at away dances and fly-ins. Rooming with Michael always meant lots of fun, but little sleep, and I was always a tired and exhausted wreck anytime we spent time together. What can I say, but that’s Michael.
Michael loved to dance and he so enjoyed being a Times Squares member. He joined Times Squares in 1990 and made it to an accomplished C1 dancer. In his years with the club, he served on the Board of Directors and helped in various roles to support Times Squares events as well as the IAGSDC’s conventions, making many friends who will remember him fondly. He could be mercurial and at times a bit of an alpha male, but he was likely to make amends and never held ill will toward anyone. He would just consider it a difference of opinion because, well, that’s Michael.
We first met in the Fall of 2007, when he was just recovering from a bout with a long term illness. We were out in the sticks in New Jersey at a Times Squares outreach event. Friendly and personable, he gave off a vibe of positive energy. The room seemed to reverberate with “Dance, dance, dance. Get up and celebrate life and share that love. Dance!”
Michael was funny, opinionated and strong willed. I can only imagine what he was like to date, but could tell that when he loved, he loved fiercely. He never forgot how much people meant to him, even after their time together was done.
When speaking of Michael, one can’t help but remember that he was boisterous, frenetic, wild, crazy, insane, surprising, and a wee bit psycho. The past couple of years were particularly eventful.
In 2011, he suddenly quit his job, and later travelled to Morocco, delving deep into the local color rather than the standard tourist traps, carrying a wad of cash and enjoying a bit of questionable substances. A couple of weeks after returning, he informed me that he had gotten an invitation and was attending “THE” wedding (i.e., Prince William & Catherine Middleton’s). I picture him standing in the crowd with thousands of others waving the American flag, one in a million.
Afterwards, he drove to Atlanta for Convention, where he memorably jumped into the pool forgetting the new iPhone in his pocket. He then drove down to Sarasota to extend his vacation with his sister before returning to New York, and then off to Asbury Park for a couple of weeks. He was always on to the next thing. He saw life as an adventure to explore, where you share, care, enjoy, smile, laugh, cry, shout, rage, listen, tell, experience, imbibe, feast, and dance; a world of life, love, happiness and a whole hell of a lot of craziness.
I think he would want us to remember that life is short and to live it fully while we can.
Yeller Rox! — Papa Alan Willemssen
Michael is survived by three sisters and his mother (his father previously passed). Condolences can be sent to his mother: Winifred Fisher 826 Washington St. Cape May, NJ 08204
- Times Squared, v.33 no.4 (March 2012) p.4