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NAIFA Remembers Past President Michael C. Keenan

By NAIFA on 1/5/23 5:12 PM

Topics: Leaders

NAIFA is saddened to share the news that NAIFA-National Past President Michael C. Keenan, CLU, ChFC, has passed away. Keenan was born in Evanston, IL, and made his career as an agent with Prudential in the Chicago area.

After serving as local and state president as well as on a myriad of local, state, and national committees, including IFAPAC (known then as  LUPAC), he was elected National Secretary in 1982 and then served as NAIFA (then NALU) President in 1984-1985. 

His time in office was devoted to promoting the values of agent and insurance industry professionalism and integrity. As President, Keenan further committed his energy to consumer education programs, legislative advocacy, recognition of life insurance professionals as essential to sound financial planning, cohesion among NAIFA chapters, and most of all, increasing NAIFA membership growth.

His refusal to give up until a goal was reached was epic, explained David F. Woods, a long-time close friend and colleague of Mike’s. “There was one example that really stood out,” said Woods. “It was in 1979 when NALU was running a fundraising campaign to expand its national headquarters on F Street in Washington, D.C. The goal was to convince 300 members to contribute a certain threshold of support.” Woods said the campaign officially ended on Dec. 31, but that Keenan did not stop asking for money until the goal had been reached eight months later. “Mike was the epitome of perseverance.”

He was a Life Member of the Million Dollar Round Table and a Chartered Life Underwriter and Financial Consultant. He was also an LUTCF.

In 2010, he received the John Newton Russell Memorial Award in recognition of his long and dedicated contributions to NAIFA (NALU), the insurance industry, and his community, state, and country. In 1998, he assumed a new full-time role with the LIFE Foundation (Life and Health and Insurance Foundation for Education, now Life Happens) as Senior Vice President, fully embracing that organization’s mission to educate the public about the essential role of life, disability income, and health insurance; the insurance agent; and the agent/advisor in sound financial planning.

He was a dedicated and loving husband to Libby (Lummus) Keenan, father to four, and grandfather to nine, and was known by all in his community for his kindness, compassion, and generosity. His loss is deeply felt across the NAIFA family, and he will be deeply missed by all whose lives he touched.

His family is making plans for a celebration of his life, most likely this summer. His full obituary and memorial requests may be found here.

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