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Robert C. Keaton

May 2, 1962 February 26, 2019
Robert C. Keaton
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Obituary for Robert C. Keaton

With broken hearts and great sadness, the family of Robert C. Keaton regretfully announces his passing.
Bob died at the age of 56 at his home in Etters, York County, on Feb. 26, 2019.

Born May 2, 1962, in Sharon, Pennsylvania, he was the son of the late Robert Oscar and the late Helen Maxine (Nusser) Keaton. His parents predeceased him in 1969 and 2001, respectively.

As a student at Sharon Area High School, Bob was the announcer for the Sharon High Tigers’ marching band. After his junior year, he was selected to participate in the prestigious Governor’s School for the Arts, where he excelled. He was also president of the Senior Class of 1980.

He entered Westminster College in New Wilmington in the fall of 1980, where he first majored in theater. He changed his major to history, which became a lifelong passion. In 1984, he participated in the college’s popular Presidential Mock Convention and met several life-changing personalities from the Civil Rights Movement. The experience defined his path into politics.

After earning his bachelor’s degree, Bob worked in several retail capacities before being tapped to run political campaigns in Harrisburg. To his great credit, Bob only lost one campaign of the dozens of races in the state House and Senate. He served as a field director for the House Republican Campaign Committee and was executive director of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee.

Upon the election of Rep. Terry Punt (R-Franklin) to the state Senate, Bob joined his staff, becoming executive director of the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. He was proudest of helping to write Act 168 of 1990, which designates the Firefighters’ Memorial Flag to honor firefighters killed in the line of duty. He also was a part-time registered representative for Waddell and Reed.

In 1995, Bob joined the policy staff for Gov. Tom Ridge and the departments of Insurance and Banking, and the Pennsylvania Securities Commission, where he played a major role in managed care reform, Workers’ Compensation reform, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Community Development Financial Institutions, among others.

In 1999, Bob moved back to Sharon to start his own consulting firm and to care for his ailing mother.

He returned to Harrisburg in 2001 to join Triad Strategies as a contract lobbyist. That led to a position as State Government Relations Director for Sunoco Inc. His professional resume also included positions with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and Bigley and Blikle LLC.

Currently, Bob was principal of his own government affairs and business consulting firm, Keaton Associates LLC.

Bob married the love of his life, the former Jennifer Algoe, on Sept. 24, 2005, in Brookville, Jefferson County. He always called their marriage the “bonus round.”

During their too-short 13 years of marriage, Bob and Jennifer loved history, traveling to several state capitals, historic sites and presidential landmarks.

A lifelong Republican, Bob routinely crossed the aisle to make friends and advocate for good public policy.

In 2018, Bob self-published a how-to guide on government affairs, “Lobbyist or Barber.” At the time of his death, Bob was working on a campaign how-to guide along with a novel titled “The Unexpected Candidate.” He also was launching a public speaking series based on his first book.

Bob was a Master Mason and member of the Edenberg Lodge No. 550 F&AM of the Pennsylvania Masonic 52 District of Knox, Clarion County, and a former member of the Paxtang Lions Club and served in committee positions with the March of Dimes, Berryhill Boys and Girls Clubs and the National Civil War Museum.

He was consistently learning new things, from genealogy to landscaping to public speaking and leadership.

Among those cherishing his memory are his beloved wife, Jennifer; his sister, Mary Jane Piehl, and her husband, Dave, of Medina, Ohio; his father- and mother-in-law, Tom and Sue Algoe of Mayport; two sisters-in-law, Melinda J. Verne and her husband, Tom, of Brockway, and Amy Algoe-Eakin of Basehor, KS; nine nieces and nephews, Wesley Piehl, Sam Piehl, Madeline McLaughlin, Ben Saulsberry, Kayla George and all of their spouses, along with Sgt. Alex Verne, and Sydney, Jonathan and Amelia Eakin.

Memorial donations may be made to the March of Dimes, for which he helped spearhead legislation for additional newborn screenings, or the Shriners Hospital for Children.

To leave a legacy in Bob’s name, one of his final requests was for a man to take a young, fatherless child fishing.

Services will be held at 11am Saturday, March 9, 2019 at Shannondale Zion Lutheran Church, 3117 Pine Run Road, Mayport, PA 16240.

A second service will be held at 11am Thursday, March 28, 2019 at The National Civil War Museum, One Lincoln Circle at Reservoir Park, Harrisburg, PA 17103.


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Previous Events

Celebration of Life

Saturday

9

Mar

11:00 AM 3/9/2019 11:00:00 AM
Zion Lutheran Church Shannondale

3117 Pine Run Rd
Mayport, PA 16240

Zion Lutheran Church Shannondale
3117 Pine Run Rd Mayport 16240 PA
United States

Celebration of Life

Thursday

28

Mar

11:00 AM 3/28/2019 11:00:00 AM
The National Civil War Museum

One Lincoln Circle at Reservoir Park
Harrisburg, PA 17103

The National Civil War Museum
One Lincoln Circle at Reservoir Park Harrisburg 17103 PA
United States

Memorial Contribution

Shriners Hospitals for Children

March of Dimes

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