Cover photo for Mary Irene Kean's Obituary
Mary Irene Kean Profile Photo

Mary Irene Kean

August 16, 1928 — December 27, 2023

Mary Irene Kean

Mary Irene Kean, 95, passed Wednesday, Dec. 27 at Baptist Hospital in Little Rock after a long and full life.

Known and loved as “Irene,” she was born Aug. 16, 1928 in McRae, Arkansas to Clarence McKinley Haley and Pearlie Louisa (Gore) Haley. She would go on to live in many different places, perhaps her favorite being Panama City, Florida.

Irene married Owen Kean Jr. in Toledo, Ohio on March 21, 1951 when she was 22. She was a loving wife, and the two enjoyed many years together. In their 56 years of marriage, they traveled, raised their four children, Michael, Tom, Donna, and Patrick, and lived the American dream, even being featured on the cover of the Homestead Florida USAF Base News Magazine.  

Irene was endlessly caring, kind, and selfless. What she loved most was her family. She enjoyed shopping and spoiling her children and grandchildren, even if it meant sneaking toys into the house and opening them in a backroom. Some of her favorite things were the beach, sunsets, seashells, and her beloved dachshunds, whom she also spoiled. 

She is survived by her son, Patrick Kean (Vicki); her granddaughter, Somer Kean (Jason); her great-granddaughter, Chloe McGehee-Kean; her daughter-in-law, Toni Kean; her granddaughters Randi Saunders (Casey) and Taylor Green (Travis); her great-granddaughters Charlee Saunders and Blake Green; her special friends, DeLane Besancon (Jeff) and Jennifer McGehee; her siblings, J.C. Haley, Johnny Haley, Christine Toone, Francis Pitts, and Joyce Reagan; and a host of nieces and nephews, whom she adored.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Lt. Col. Owen Kean Jr. USAF (Ret.); her sons, Michael Kean and Tom Kean; her daughter, Donna Kean; her grandchildren, Michael Owen and Shawn Kean; and her siblings, Eugene Haley, Violet Shelton, Daisy Tuchel, James Haley, Oscar Haley, Bobby Haley, and Alice Knocke. 

Irene will be especially remembered for her ability to light up a room by simply being herself. She had a unique ability to make everyone around her happier through her sheer kindness and bright light. She was very loved and will be deeply missed.

Her ashes will be scattered on a warm spring day, surrounded by flowers and family. The ceremony will be held on Mother’s Day, May 12, 2024 at Antioch Cemetery in Beebe, Arkansas.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Irene Kean, please visit our flower store.

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