Mary Gap Keen, 96, Oak Ridge

Mary Gap Keen, age 96, passed away Friday, March 4, 2022, at Canterfield of Oak Ridge, where she was a longtime resident. She was born in Southwest Virginia to Josef & Kataryna Wojick Gap. Her father died in a coal mining accident when she was five years old. After graduating from high school, she moved from Appalachia, VA to Oak Ridge. She began work at K25 where she met her future husband, Edward J. Keen. They married in 1946 and their union produced three children, Mary Ann, who died during birth, and two surviving children, Edward J. Keen, Jr. & Theresa Ann “Teri” Keen Smith Pearson. Mary was an almost lifetime member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, where she was faithful in her attendance until mobility became an issue. Both Mary & her husband were accomplished fishermen. Mary won three State Championships sponsored by The Tennessean. Mary Rose, as she was affectionately called by family & friends, was a member of B.A.S.S. & the Outdoor Writers Association. She wrote articles for several newspapers, including The Oak Ridger, and hosted a fishing show on the fledgling cable TV station in Oak Ridge. Mary had a green thumb and took great pride in her roses, azaleas, irises, peonies, and numerous other flowers. She shared seeds and clippings with those that stopped to gaze upon her gardens on Outer Drive.

Mary was the last of her siblings to survive.

She was preceded in death by husband, Edward J. Keen; daughter, Mary Ann Keen; parents, Josef & Kataryna “Katie” Gap; siblings, Antoni, John Ernest, and Josef Adam Gap; sister, Anna Brooks Barnes; daughter-in-law Cathe Henry Keen; and sons-in-law, Steve Smith & Mike Pearson. Survivors include son, Edward J. Keen, Jr; daughter, Theresa Ann “Teri” Smith-Pearson & special friend, Donnie Macklin; grandchildren, Christy Hicks & husband, Stewart, Elly Larkin, Jamie Smith & wife, Amy, and Christopher Smith & wife, Carma; great-grandchildren, Emma, Bailey, Owen, Sheldon, Abigail, Isabelle, Sarah, Johannah, Charlotte, Mekayla, and Bryce; and special friend, John Wilkerson. The family wishes to extend special thanks to the staff at Canterfield of Oak Ridge & Amedisys Hospice, especially to Julianna Schmitt, R.N., who so lovingly cared for Mary during her residence.

Family & friends will meet at 1 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2022, at Oak Ridge Memorial Park for graveside services with Chaplain Cherie Merritt officiating. An online guestbook is available at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary, please visit our floral store.

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