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LAWRENCE KNAPP KEOGH


 

 

Lawrence Knapp Keogh of Libertyville, Illinois and Mackinac Island, Michigan passed away at home on March 16, 2024. He was 94 years old. Larry was born on May 8, 1929 in Chicago. He was the youngest of six children of Dr. Chester Henry Keogh, M.D. (1868- 1958) of Chicago and Katherine Knapp (1895-1979) of Portland, Oregon.

He grew up on Drexel Boulevard in Chicago and was educated at The Harvard School for Boys, The Lab School at The University of Chicago and Hope College – Every summer his family would depart Chicago for their East Bluff Cottage, The Cross Trees on Mackinac Island. It was there that Larry, along with his siblings, were ensconsed in classical music, Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and fun. Seemingly endless stories and pictures of Larry and his siblings riding and driving their little shetland pony, “Betsy” all over Mackinac were timeless. Larry and Betsy were noticed by film executives from MGM and in 1947 the duo appeared as a luggage team in the MGM Musical – “This Time for Keeps” – filmed on Mackinac. It was on the Island that his lifelong love of ships and sailing were established as well as his passion for Wawashkamo Golf Club.

After College in 1953, Larry moved to New York City and worked in various advertising and promotion departments for McGraw Hill, Tyrex and Sinclair Oil. He moved back to Chicago in the late 1950’s and entered the emerging business of incentive marketing. He worked as a sales executive with industry pioneers Maritz, PIC and the Flair Agency. In the late 1970’s, Larry immediately saw the potential of the personal computer as a way to compete against the industry giants. In 1980 he started his own firm and by 2000 was maintaining relational database systems for New England Telephone, NYNEX, Showtime Networks, HBO, Disney Channel, Carolina Power and Light, International Mineral and Chemical, Dish Network, OpenTable and many others. He was an incredible force in technology and loved to reminisce of going to CDW when they only had four employees. Larry could build a PC from scratch and was actively driving his wife of 62 years crazy with computers, hard drives, printers and monitors scattered all over their formal dining room when he passed.

Larry was married at The Basillica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame, Indiana on August 19, 1961 to Nancy (nee Farrington) of South Bend. They raised three sons in Evanston and Northfield and have resided in the northern suburbs of Chicago for the past 62 years.

Larry began golfing at Wawashkamo as a child in the 1930’s. His stories of his lessons from Club Pro Frank Dufina and rounds with the old Mackinac cottagers were always facinating to hear and usually helped cure a swing ailment. He regularly played throughout the 1940’s and early 1950’s with his East Bluff neighbor John (Jack) Cochran and a host of others. He served on the Board of Directors of Wawashkamo and ultimately served as Club President from 1999-2001. He was extremely proud of leading Wawashkamo through a transition period that put the club into sound financial condition as it moved into the 21st century.

Larry became a second generation member of The Chicago Yacht Club in 1954 and was currently Member #4 of “The Old Guard”. He was an avid sailor during the 1950’s and 1960’s and participated in the Chicago to Mackinac race as both crew and a boat owner. In later years he loved to be on the island for the annual race and always made time to introduce himself to the race committee at the finish line on Windermere Point. His race stories were classic “Legend”.

Upon retirement, Larry spent his time restoring things that his children had destroyed. His abilities in model making were incredible. In his 80’s, he found a model kit he had purchased 40 years prior and spent the next two years building a ship from the keel up. His completed model of the “Brig Niagara” is exquisite. His abilities to fix what appeared to be impossibly broken were amazing. He was a lover of The Cinema and had perhaps one of the greatest personal collections of 20th century film. He was a patron of every library in the greater Chicagoland area yet never checked out a book.

Larry was a member of Chicago Yacht Club, Wawashkamo Golf Club, The Founders and Patriots of America, The General Society for the War of 1812 and the Sons of the American Revolution.

Larry was preceeded in death by his parents, Dr. Chester H. and Katherine K., his brothers and sisters; Tirzah F., William H., Chester H., James B., and Lura B. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Nancy (nee Farrington) and their children, Charles (Karla) of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, William (Annette) of Cheboygan, Michigan, John of Mackinac Island, Michigan, as well as five grandchildren, Matthew, Kayla, Charles, Jackie and Lura.

Interment will be private at Ste. Anne’s Catholic Cemetery, Mackinac Island, Michigan. A Celebration of His Life will be held from 1:00pm-4:00pm on Sunday, June 30, 2024 at The Cross Trees Cottage on the East Bluff at Mackinac. All are invited to attend. .

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