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Published: Thursday, 4/27/2006

Nursing professor went out of way for students

Mary J. Keenan, 71, a retired professor emeritus at the college of nursing of what now is the Medical University of Ohio, died of multiple sclerosis Tuesday in the Kingston Care Center, Sylvania.

Miss Keenan was a professor at the college for more than 20 years, until her retirement in 1997 as a professor emeritus.

Before that, she was a registered nurse at what now is St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center and taught nursing at Michigan State University.

Her friend of more than 20 years, Kathy Sink, an associate professor at the college who took nursing classes from Miss Keenan in the early 1980s, said she was very dedicated to the students.

"She went out of her way to help them," Mrs. Sink said. "She always supported and encouraged them. She encouraged them to accede to their potential."

A Toledo native, Miss Keenan graduated from St. Ursula Academy.

She had a bachelor's degree in nursing from St. Louis University, a master's degree in nursing from Catholic University in Washington, and a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Toledo.

In retirement, Miss Keenan enjoyed travelling and supporting public broadcasting, museums, universities, and national parks.

Her memberships included the American Nursing Association and the National League for Nursing.

There are no immediate survivors.

Services will be at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. The body will be after 2 p.m. tomorrow in the Coyle Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to WGTE, St. Louis University, the National Park Service, Catholic University, or St. Ursula Academy.

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