Gerald Leo McKeown, 71, of Callaway, MN passed away on January 11, 2023, at his home. Jerry was born November 25, 1951, on his dad’s 40th birthday to Everett and Fern McKeown in Hendricks, MN. He grew up in Elkton, SD. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic grade school in Elkton, and graduated from high school in 1970 from Elkton. After high school he served as a member of the United States Army Military Police during the Vietnam conflict. While attending vocational school in Canby, MN he met his future wife.
He married Peggy Jo Hess on August 26, 1978, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Benson, MN. They lived in Brewser, MN when they had their first daughter Anita, then they moved to Worthington, MN and shortly after, Marshall, MN where Jerry worked for Swift’s turkey plant. A few years after their second daughter Samatha was born, Swift’s transferred Jerry to Detroit Lakes, so they made their home nearby in Callaway, MN. When that plant closed, they decided to keep the family put and he worked at nursing homes and different jobs in the area, always enjoying visiting with residents and fellow employees. After his retirement, he continued to work part time, most recently as a janitor at the DOT building in Detroit Lakes.
He served at his church as a Sunday School and confirmation teacher, communion assistant, usher, and helping during events. He liked participating in regular Bible study at church, and consistently brought up prayer requests for others. Jerry was an election judge in Callaway, and of course, there was never a quiet moment in the building as he would visit all day with the people. Jerry loved to talk to everyone he met throughout the day, especially about his family, to anyone he would come across. He was so proud of his girls and his grandkids. He recently has enjoyed traveling around the country with Peggy. He would tell everyone about his travels with excitement. His grandkids all have treasured memories of traveling with him too. He appreciated spending time with them. He knew and believed that Jesus died for him.
Jerry is survived by his wife Peggy, daughters Anita (Danny) Thorson, Samantha Beshear, grandchildren Jaden, Clara, and Emma Thorson, twin brother Terry (Jeanine) McKeown, brothers Gary (Peggy) McKeown, Rick (Rea) McKeown, sister Barb (Pete) Mersch, sister-in-law Deb McKeown. He is preceded in death by his parents, brother Milt McKeown, and son-in-law Matt Beshear. Rather than flowers, please make a donation in Jerry’s name to his daughter’s school, Faith Christian School, 24688 County Highway 6, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501. Funeral services will be at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Callaway on Saturday, January 14 at 3:00 with visitation 1 hour prior. David-Donehower Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.