Robert McKeon, who founded Westchester’s Right to Life Party and ran it for more than two decades, died Wednesday, the Journal News reported. He was 82.
He is the father of Michael McKeon, a former top aide to Gov. George Pataki.
The elder McKeon served as chairman of the Westchester party from its start in 1978 until 2000, and he helped found the statewide Right to Life Party in 1978.
From the article:
“He was very committed to that cause, and he spent a lot of time walking the streets, collecting signatures, on the phone, finding candidates, helping run campaigns,” said his son, Michael McKeon.
Robert McKeon co-founded the Westchester Right to Life Committee in 1970 and the state committee in 1971. In 1978, he co-founded the New York State Right to Life Party, his son said.
Upon retiring, Robert McKeon told The Journal News that he was frustrated he had not changed the laws to make abortion illegal. Describing how he started in the political field, he said, “I didn’t like the idea that babies were getting killed. I can’t imagine anything worse than that.” On the other hand, his son said, he was proud that the third-party political line made a difference in elections.
McKeon also coached Little League and was involved in the Church of the Annunciation in Crestwood, where he was a parishioner and usher, his son said.
During the Korean War he served in counter intelligence with the Army. He worked for more than 30 years as an executive for IBM, retiring in 1997, his son said.
In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary Devine McKeon, two daughters, three other sons, 19 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and eight brothers and sisters. A brother, two sisters and a grandchild died before him.