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Treasure collecting Rockwall couple is ‘rich’ in heart

Meet Mike and Patricia Keegan, giving back to the community they call home

(ROCKWALL, TX – May 5, 2015) Local residents Mike and Patricia Keegan have been around; with jobs that have taken them from different parts of the country and beyond to places such as Guacara, Venezuela, to the nearly 30 years they’ve lived in Rockwall where they have amassed hundreds upon hundreds of community service hours giving back to those in need.

“It’s been so rich,” Patricia said.

She doesn’t mean rich as in pockets-full-of-gold rich. In fact, the Keegans never made a dime on any of the copious amount of things they’ve done or been involved with in Rockwall. The list of activities, volunteer groups and organizations they’ve been a part of in the community is quite a long one – as is the journey that finally brought them into Rockwall.

Having bounced from one town to another due to the nature of their jobs, Mike and Patricia found the place they would call home for good one day as they were driving across the bridge over Lake Ray Hubbard.

“As we came across the bridge, Mike saw Rockwall and he thought to himself, ‘Someday I’m going to come back here and live,’” Patricia said. “He knew nothing about it, had never heard of it before, but it looked real good to him.”

Tired of “taking up space” in every community she’s ever lived, Patricia said when they moved to Rockwall she decided she wanted to play a more active role in her new home. So she and Mike joined the Rockwall County Newcomers Club, an organization she said was a great way to meet new people and learn more about the community. She loved it so much she ended up staying with Newcomers well after she could actually be considered a new resident.

“You have the opportunity to meet new people in the community, and you lean on each other because you’re the newcomers on the block,” Patricia said. “They’re a good solid organization for anybody who’s new in town.”

In addition to the Newcomers Club, Mike and Patricia have been involved in many different volunteer / nonprofit organizations around Rockwall, including the Rockwall Women’s League, Soroptimist Rockwall, Meals On Wheels Senior Services of Rockwall County, the Rockwall County Republican Men’s and Women’s clubs and the Rockwall Area Chamber of Commerce. Mike volunteered to dress as Santa Claus for an annual Christmas parade. According to Patricia, he would wave and shout the names of folks he knew while riding the float, and was a huge hit with all the young kids in Rockwall.

Mike and Patricia also lent their time helping tutor students at Rochell Elementary School, and both have served on various planning boards of Taste of Rockwall helping to organize the annual event back when it was first launched. Patricia has also worked as a bus monitor for children with special needs, while Mike has operated as a bus driver for the school district.

The list goes on and on…

Maybe even more impressive than their community service track record is their actual household. To say the Keegans are collectors would be a major understatement; they’re more like the curators of the super-secret Keegan Museum in Rockwall.

Dozens of unique art, sculptures and memorabilia line the walls of the couple’s quaint little home, complete with a cozy media room set up just like an actual movie theater and chockfull of DVDs (and even those old video cassette tapes for VCR players), as well as a nice screened-in back porch.

Another interesting fact about the Keegans: they’re the same age, with their birthdays separated by a mere one week. The couple recently celebrated their 80th birthdays a few months ago in style with a surprise party at Luigi’s in Rockwall. Patricia said they were totally caught off guard as they were moved to the back room, where Happy Birthday balloons and some dear friends and family members greeted them.

“It was tons of fun and a total surprise,” Patricia said.

Story and photos by Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News reporter. 

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