Keener, Mary Stifel

Mary Stifel Keener, 95, of Farmington passed away peacefully on Monday, September 16, 2019, and she is now dancing in heaven with the love of her life, Gene Keener.
Mary was born on October 9, 1923, in New Britain, CT to John and Julia Stifel. She was the only daughter among five brothers, George, John, Steve, Joe, and Felix, who all lived together in a two bedroom house. She graduated from Saint Mary’s Catholic School and New Britain High School where she was a member of the Glee Club. In her teen years, Mary was president of the Children of Mary at her Catholic church and served in that capacity until she was married.
Mary was a devout Catholic and regularly attended Mass where she always sang the hymns loudly to show her love of God. She was a talented seamstress and attended design school where she learned to draw patterns and landed a job at a local dress shop. Meanwhile, WWII was raging, and Mary was recruited to become a draftsperson by Pratt & Whitney where she worked for seven years before leaving to start a family with her husband Gene Keener.
The Keeners settled in Farmington in a house that Gene and Mary designed and built together. She lived in that house most of her life where she worked in her sewing room, tended her beautiful gardens, and raised her five children.
Mary was proud of her many talents, and enjoyed cooking and baking for the family, hosting holidays and parties at her home, helping the church committees that cooked for the poor, and sewing baptismal gowns for the church. Her Slovak dishes, such as halupki and nut roll, were always family favorites. She baked and decorated wedding cakes for her children, and guided her daughters in designing and sewing their wedding dresses. She was an avid bowler for many years and loved socializing with the women in the league. Her fine quilting skills still are present in a community quilt on display at the UCONN Health Center. Most of all, Mary was a dear and loving mother who always put family first.
Mary leaves behind her children and their spouses; Bob and Jan Keener of Canton, Donald Keener and Elaine Buchardt of Andover, Marie and Jim Langdon of Colchester, Bette and Vince Vasko of Barkhamsted, and Laura and Dale Roberts of Burlington. She also leaves her grandchildren and great grandchildren, Nathan and Sarah Keener of New Hampshire and their children Jude and Madeleine, Daniel Keener and Karissa Wingate of Willington and their daughter Saydra, Samuel Keener of Brooklyn, NY, Eric Vasko of West Hartford, Samantha & Evan Winebrenner of Tolland, Marissa and Kai Chau of Burlington, Kara Vasko of San Diego, CA, and Alexandra Roberts of Burlington. Mary also has many nieces and nephews and sisters-in-law that were dear to her.
A funeral mass will be held at Saint Patrick’s Church, 110 Main St., Farmington, CT at 10:30 AM, on Saturday Sept. 21, 2019, where Mary was an active member for over 60 years. Calling hours will be at The Ahern Funeral Home, 111 Main St., Unionville, CT from 5 to 8 PM on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. If you choose, you may dress in bright colors like Mary always loved. Although Mary loved flowers and the family welcomes them, feel free to donate to a charity of your choice in lieu of flowers.

Calling Hours

Friday, September 20, 2019 from 5:00-8:00pm

Funeral Service

Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 10:30am in the Church of St. Patrick ~ Farmington


Riverside Cemetery ~ Farmington

Memorial Contribution

Charity of the donor's choice

6 Responses to 'Keener, Mary Stifel'

  1. Susan (Kowalski) Davis says:

    To the Keener & Stifel family.
    Growing up in New Britain, the Stifel family was a big part of my life. I treasured the times I got to spend with all of you. I especially remember the many kindnesses & support dear Mary & Gene showed to my Mom, Betty (Farcash) Kowalski after my Dad John died & then again after Mom passed. I am so sorry for your loss but know all your beautiful memories will help to ease your sorrow & again bring a smile to your heart. I was in Illinois during the service times. Would really love to connect with family.My address is 34 Stonybrook Rd, Gales Ferry, CT 06335. With prayers & love.

  2. Amy Yabrosky says:

    Bob and Jan,

    So sorry to hear about “Mom”. I have fond memories of her, when we invitied them to the lake. Your mom was a real firecraker, lots of fun.
    great dancer, definately “life of the party”. She will be truly missed. “95” wow, must be that slovackian blood.


  3. Nancy Stifel says:

    To all my Keener cousins

    Seattle never felt so far away.
    There are so many little pictures replaying in my head as I read Aunt Mary’s obituary….
    So many generous acts and I loved hearing her pause and say…”Ohhhhh” when listening so intently.

    Best moment when with her on Farmington Ave was standing in front hall, looking at that great pix of Uncle Gene leaning on his car…

    She gave me the entire story of their courtship incl when Grandma Stifel sent Uncle Joe back to Keener Ridge with Gene to meet and stay with his family for a week …and then report back to her that he was indeed THE GUY for her only daughter ! She giggled thru the whole retelling…Now, they are back together, kicking up their heels once more 💞💕

  4. V Zitzkat says:

    Mary was the sweetest person I knew. She was as s othoughful and compassionate when we lost our mother, Betty. I’m so glad to have known her. Peace t o you and your family.
    Ginny (Kowalski) Zitzkat.

  5. Carol Sakmar Zinser says:

    To the Keeners and Stifels: My Mom, Anne Sakmar, shared with me often many happy memories of her young life in New Britain. The Stifel brothers and Mary were a huge part of those memories. Mom loved that fun-loving, amazing family and greatly admired Mary and her creative talents, particularly as a seamstress and homemaker. I had the pleasure of attending an anniversary party for Mary and Gene in Farmington a number of years ago and it was obvious how valued and loved this couple was by their children and all the family. It is a comfort to know Mary is now with her beloved Gene after a long and blessed life.
    Warm regards and condolences at this deep loss,
    Carol Sakmar Zinser

  6. James Paradise says:

    To the Entire Keener Family,

    Kay Paradise’s family (my brothers, my sister and I) would like to extend our condolences to your family on your loss. We knew Mary to be a loving and wonderful person and my mom’s closest cousin. Lots of memories growing up at your home in Farmington and Aunt Julia’s in New Britain. I am sure your mom had a long and family filled life. Treasure her memories.

    All our love.

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