Last Friday, I attended the funeral of Mr. Joseph S. Keelty, who passed away at the age of 93 years. As you can imagine, the church was packed. Father Timothy Brown, a faculty member at Loyola University and a personal friend of Joe’s, gave the homily and pointed out that all in attendance were mourning Joe’s passing collectively and personally. By that he meant that Joe had given so much to the community, but, that he had had a personal relationship of kindness and giving to so many individuals as well. This really resonated with me. As the President of GBMC HealthCare, I realized that Joe Keelty was a force in giving of his time, talent and treasure to both Gilchrist Services and our hospital. And as an individual, I remembered how kind Joe had been to me when I first met him and at every interaction with him since then. He was the essence of humility. It was always clear that he did not want attention paid to his giving.
A history of personal concern for others and “quiet philanthropy” were hallmarks of Joe Keelty’s life. Born into a family that began a homebuilding company in the early 1900s, Mr. Keelty helped to spearhead the family business and became a leader in the industry nationally, serving as an officer of the National Association of Homebuilders and the Homebuilder’s Association of Maryland.
His commitment to his church, education, the welfare of the disadvantaged and healthcare focused his philanthropy. Joe served as Chairman of the Gilchrist Board and was an emeritus member of that body at the time of his death.
The Joseph S. Keelty Society was named for him because of his life-long leadership and exceptional generosity to GBMC HealthCare. His vision of service is something we strive for each day and we are deeply indebted to Mr. Keelty for his support. The impact he made is beyond measure, but can be seen each day as we work towards our vision to provide to everyone the care we would want for our own loved ones.
There is no doubt that we have lost someone who was very special and a great friend to GBMC. We will always be thankful for what Joe did for GBMC and we are truly going to miss him.
Look for more information honoring Mr. Keelty on www.gbmc.org and in future editions of GBMC publications.
For now, please join me in honoring his life and legacy by sharing your memories and thoughts of Mr. Keelty with our blog community.