Deacon Michael E. Keable, 61
June 3, 1940 - November 20, 2021
Deacon Mike died peacefully in the arms of God on November 20, 2021, at the St. Cloud VA Hospital, St. Cloud, MN from complications of living with diabetes for 61 years.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, November 30, 2021, in St. John’s Abbey Church in Collegeville, with the Most Rev. Donald Kettler, Bishop of St. Cloud, presiding. Masks are required in church. Burial will follow in the parish cemetery under a majestic pine tree next to his beloved wife, Doreen, overlooking Lake Sagatagan on the grounds of St. John’s Abbey.
A visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the church an hour before the Mass.
Mike was born in Little Fork, MN to Eugene Eustace and Alice (Solberg) Keable. His early years were spent in Big Falls and Bemidji where he completed grade school at St. Philip’s Catholic School. He later moved to Grand Rapids where he completed high school. He enlisted in the US Army and served as a Nike Hercules Missileman until he was discharged with a service-connected disability. He returned to Grand Rapids and enrolled in Itasca Community College, transferring to St. Cloud State University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1965. It was during his college years that he met his future bride, Doreen Marie Tholl. They were married a year later on August 20, 1966. His first post-college position was as an Employment Counselor with the Minnesota State Employment Service. A year later he was selected to participate in CAUSE II, a federal program to educate and train counselors to work with disadvantaged youth at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ, followed by graduate studies at the University of North Dakota where he received a master’s degree in counseling psychology in 1969. Mike was appointed by Governor Wendell Anderson to the Minnesota State Board of Health in January 1973, and then appointed by Governor Rudy Perpich to the State Health Advisory Council in July 1977. He received his licensure for independent practice as a psychologist in 1975.
Mike served in several positions during his working years, including Executive Director of Alumni Affairs at St. Cloud State University; psychologist at Willmar Regional Treatment Center; hospice chaplain at St. Cloud Hospital; staff member at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center; and marriage and family psychologist at Caritas Family Services.
After receiving and responding to a Call to serve God as a Permanent Deacon, Mike was accepted to be in the first class to study for the Diocese of St. Cloud and was ordained by Most Rev. George H. Speltz on June 2, 1978. He was assigned to serve the Church of St. Paul in St. Cloud, where he remained as deacon until 2000. His last active assignment was as deacon to the parish of St. John the Baptist, Collegeville.
Deacon Mike was appointed as Director of the Permanent Diaconate Program for the Diocese of St. Cloud by Most Rev. Jerome Hanus, OSB, and served for 10 years until he retired from active ministry on his birthday, June 3, 2012.
Mike was actively involved in several organizations, including being a Grand Knight of K.C. Council 961, President of the St. Cloud Kiwanis Club, President of the Great River Regional Library Board, Vice-President of the Minnesota State Board of Health, Treasurer of the SCSU Alumni Association, member of the Stearns County Public Health Advisory Committee, life member of the Disabled American Veterans, American Legion Post 328, and served as a volunteer for many years in the kitchen at the Salvation Army.
Mike is survived by his children, Stephen Keable and Allison (Carl) Driggins; grandchildren, Rachel, Aubrey, and CJ Driggins; and sister, Polly Dalby and her children, Lori Bartlett and Tim Dalby.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Doreen; and brother-in-law, Ray Dalby.
Pallbearers will be members of the Diaconal Community of the Diocese of St. Cloud.
In lieu of flowers memorials are requested to the Dr. Doreen Keable Scholarship Fund at St. Cloud State University, the Salvation Army of St. Cloud, or to Sharing and Caring Hands in Minneapolis.
The family expresses profound gratitude for the loving and compassionate care that Mike received from the staff at the VA Hospital in St. Cloud.
“May his soul, and the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.”