Frederick McKeever, OFM
1927 – 2006
Fr. Frederick McKeever, OFM, was born in New York City on May 4, 1927. In 1945, he entered St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y.
In 1948, he was received into Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., and professed his first vows there the following year. Fr. Fred professed his final vows in 1952 and was ordained a priest in 1954 at Mt. St. Sepulchre Church in Washington, D.C.
Following his ordination, Fr. Fred received a master of art degree from St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y., where he was an assistant professor of philosophy from 1955 to 1963. During those years, he completed almost all the work for his doctorate in philosophy, but his desires for more pastoral ministry led him in new directions.
In 1963, Fr. Fred returned to New York City as parochial vicar at St. Stephen of Hungary Church on East 82nd Street; he became guardian and pastor there in 1967 and served in that capacity for six years. Following his decade in New York, Fr. Fred took on a number of shorter term assignments: pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church in Narrowsburg, N.Y., parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Holy Angels in Little Falls, N.J., a member of the team ministry at St. Elizabeth’s Friary in Wyckoff, N.J., and assistant pastor at Queen of Peace Parish in Greenwood Lake, N.J.
Then, in 1976, he became pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Butler, N.J., serving there until 1982. After this, he was again assigned as parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Holy Angels in Little Falls. In 1983, he was asked to assume the post of guardian of the new Sacred Heart Friary in East Rutherford, N.J, where he served for nine years.
In 1992, Fr. Fred returned to Butler to serve as guardian of St. Anthony Friary from 1998 until July 2006. He then became a member of the staff at Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J.
Fr. Fred was a true gentleman with a big heart and a big smile. He was a gifted speaker and writer, a critical thinker and a stimulating teacher, but most of all Fr. Fred was Franciscan to the core.
He died Sept. 22, 2006 at his family’s home in Valley Cottage, N.Y. He was 79 years old, a professed friar for 57 years and a priest for 52 years.