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Edward “Jack” Kehoe died on March 10, 2013, in West Palm Beach, Florida, after a brief, intense ambush from illness. Born on August 4, 1927, in Camden, NJ, to Agnes and Thomas Kehoe, he was the “last man standing” of seven adult siblings, predeceased by sisters Min and Fran and brothers Tom, Larry, Bill, Jim and Dick. He is survived by his former wife, Edna Dougherty Kehoe, son Edward and daughters Maureen (and Michael) Grace, Debbi (and Per) Kehoe-Larsen, Beverly Kehoe, Cheryl (and Gene) Zarro, Elizabeth (and Frank) Palumbo, plus 14 grandchildren and spouses, six great-grandchildren, dozens of nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
Jack and his brothers learned gymnastics by flipping off the roof, construction tricks from their father, a rigorous work ethic from their mother, automotive skills by merging two junks into one and swimming by sneaking into Roberts Pool in Collingswood—where they got arrested so often they were finally given season passes.
This love of water inspired the Kehoe Brothers Water Show. Started in Wildwood after Jack’s stint in the Army, the show featured a high-diving “Jase the Clown” and toured for years. Throughout his life, Jack rebuilt scores of boats, from a classic rowboat to the legendary 110-foot wooden yacht. His latest was a very fast, very loud ocean racer equipped with windsurfing gear.
While selling surplus army office equipment in the 1940s, Jack received a shipment of skiing gear…and the Kehoes headed to the slopes! Jack skied every year since—in Europe, Colorado and Vermont, where he transformed a farmhouse into a circa 1965 ski lodge.
In his 60-plus years in the construction business, Jack worked as hard as he played. The “houses” that Jack built include churches, schools, office and shopping complexes, significant portions of Rutgers and Rider Colleges, and a family home complete with gym and indoor pond. He served on the boards of the Building Contractors Association, Rotary Club and Local Union #222 HWP Fund.
Jack’s unique style permeated everything he did, whether it was refining an architect’s plans, retrofitting clothes, or building cars, boats or homes. If it belonged to Jack it was clean. If it was Jack’s it lasted forever. His sense of purpose sustained him through 85 healthy years.
Services will be held on May 3 at 12:30 at St. John’s Catholic Church in Collingswood with interment of ashes at Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hospice of Palm Beach County, 5300 East Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33407, or National Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd Street, NY, NY 10016.