Magnified Giving remembers Board Member Bill Keating, Jr.
From the Cincinnati Business Courier
Bill Keating Jr., a senior partner in the downtown Cincinnati law firm of Keating Muething & Klekamp, died March 29. The Mount Lookout resident had been battling brain cancer since being diagnosed last summer. Keating, 63, had worked at KMK for more than 37 years. He practiced primarily corporate and business law, representing publicly traded and privately held businesses.
He also practiced in business succession planning, executive compensation and estate and tax planning. Keating also served in a general counsel capacity to small- and medium-size clients who don’t have in-house counsel.
“We were fortunate to be partners with Billy for nearly 40 years,” said Alan Fershtman, a partner at KMK. "He will be dearly missed. He was a mentor to so many people, including our attorneys. He was a people person and a connector to our city.”
A 1972 graduate of St. Xavier High School who later attended the University of Cincinnati, Keating was an outstanding swimmer and a member of the athletic hall of fame at each school. He earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in business administration from UC in 1976. He received a law degree from UC in 1979 and joined KMK that year.
The U.S. Olympic Committee honored Keating in the fall for his work with disabled athletes. The Big East Conference had honored him for his outstanding contribution to girls and women in sports, and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber honored him in 2015 with its Women Empowerment Award. He also had received the Jimmy Nippert Award from UC, which recognizes the graduating outstanding male student athlete.
He was the oldest son of William Keating Sr., a former Hamilton County judge who served on Cincinnati City Council and in Congress and was also publisher of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Mike Keating, CEO of Christ Hospital, is one of Bill Keating Jr.’s six siblings.
“Billy, as he was known to his family and friends, had a huge heart,” Mike Keating said. “And, in the Jesuit tradition was truly ‘A man for others.’ He always was giving and sharing of his time and resources with everyone who asked, especially on behalf of women student athletes, the St. Xavier swim team and the University of Cincinnati.
“His wonderful family, and I know the community, will miss him dearly,” Mike Keating said.
In September 2016, Bill Keating Jr. walked his daughter Liz Keating from the stage as she accepted the Business Courier’s Forty Under 40 award. He had brain surgery just three weeks prior to the event, his daughter told Courier staff at the time.
In addition to his father, brother Mike and daughter Liz, survivors include: his wife of 35 years, Joan; four other children, Jack, Paul, Caroline and Joe; his mother, Nancy; two sisters, Nancy Roe and Susie Lame; three other brothers, Dan Keating, John Keating and Tom Keating; and two grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are being planned, but a service is expected next weekend.
William John Keating Jr. was born in Cincinnati on Dec. 19, 1953. He grew up in Mount Lookout, attended Cardinal Pacelli grade school, and was a parishioner at Christ the King Catholic Church.
A member of the Cincinnati Athletic Club, he swam several miles a day until recently.
"He was in phenomenal shape," Liz Keating said. "He just qualified for six events at the national Senior Olympics that are to be held in Alabama this summer. Even through all the treatment, he was still training for that. At the Senior Olympics in 2015, he won six medals – two gold and four silver. He was still a phenomenal swimmer."
Bill Keating Jr. also also ran for exercise, and he enjoyed walking – especially with his children and grandchildren.
"He liked to walk up the hill to Graeter's in Hyde Park Square," Liz Keating said. "He loved strawberry ice cream in a sugar cone."
Bill Keating Jr. also enjoyed being a volunteer, she said.
In recent years, “with all of his involvement in the community, every time he was asked to serve on a board he wouldn’t do it unless one of his kids could do it with him,” Liz Keating said. “He found that was a way to spend more time with his kids while giving back to the community.
Bill Keating Jr. had served on the boards of St. X, UC, St. Ursula Academy, Adoption Professionals, Pro Seniors Inc., Girls on the Run, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, TechSolve Inc., the Enabling Possibilities Foundation, Magnified Giving, the Tri-State Warbird Museum and the TriState Veterans Community Alliance.
He was chairman of the advisory board of UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business and a member of the advisory board of the UC Center for Entrepreneurship.
He also was a member of the board of the Greater Cincinnati Sports Corp., and he was involved with the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Women’s Sports Association to honor local high school and college athletes, Liz Keating said.
“For memorials, we’re asking people to volunteer their time or contribute monetarily to a charity of their choice,” Liz Keating said.
Her father “loved being involved in the community and meeting all kinds of people, including those with different backgrounds,” she said. “He felt he could learn so much more from people with different life experiences. He liked bringing people together to make the community a better place for the next generation.
“He never ended a conversation without saying, ‘What else?’ " his daughter recalled. “That was so he could advise you better as your attorney – or learn how he could help you accomplish your goals. Even with me, it was: ‘What else?’ He did that for everybody.”
For the last 16 years, Bill Keating Jr. had emailed a "Thought of the Day" to family members and friends. Sometimes it was original, but often it was a quote from someone else that resonated with him.
"It goes out at 4:30 in the morning," Liz Keating said. "He didn't miss a day in 16 years. He started it when my older brother Jack went away to college at Ohio University. Over the years, it’s grown. About 10,000 people are on the list now, and I will be carrying it on for him.”
A final thought of the day from Bill Keating Jr. himself will be emailed out March 30. It will touch on both life and death.
Today, Bill Keating Jr. shared this thought: “ 'The way of peace is the way of love. Love is the greatest power on earth. It conquers all things.' – Peace Pilgrim."
He included a call to action: "To Do Today: 'Go out into the world today and love the people you meet. Let your presence light new light in the hearts of people.' – Mother Teresa."
And below that, he included a "Daily Lenten Commitment: 'Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier.' – Mother Teresa."
“That is a good way to sum him up,” Liz Keating said. “He brought people together. He was definitely a connector. He’d find out what he could learn about somebody to help them chase their dreams. He was all about helping people chase their dreams.”
Attorney Bill Keating Jr., 63, was ‘a man for others’