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KEENAN FAMILY in Australia

Wilfred Walter ("Wis") Keenan (1910 - 1998)

Last updated 6 April 2017

Australian Generation:  Second
Born: 15 January 1910  at Batlow, New South Wales, Australia.  (Reg. No. 706/1910)    
Parents:  James Keenan and Florence Lillico Skien
Married: Venda Cavell Nolan on 26 January 1944 at St John's Anglican Church, Young, New South Wales.  See her family details below.
Occupation: Fruit packer, floor-manager at the Batlow Packing House (1940s) and carpenter.
Main Residence: Shepparton, Victoria.  Wilf Keenan was born in Batlow and lived there until 1950 (apart from  approx. 1920-24, when, for health reasons (asthma), he lived and attended school in Wagga Wagga). From Batlow he and Venda and their family moved to Young, NSW, (Venda's home town) where they lived until June 1953.  From there they moved to Leeton, NSW, where they lived from June to September 1953, and then onto Shepparton, Vic, renting a Housing Commission home at 6 Regent Street. In May 1961 they purchased that property. Wilf and Venda lived there for the rest of their lives
Deceased: 10 August 1998 at Tarcoola Nursing Home, Shepparton, Victoria.  Causes of death: ..................................
Buried:  13 August 1998 at Pine Lodge Cemetery, Pine Lodge (Shepparton East)



Barbara June Keenan (1945 - 2007)

Peter James Keenan (1947)

Geoffrey Bruce Keenan (1949)

Wilfred Walter Keenan (1910 - 1998)

Eulogy: Click here for eulogy delivered by Peter Keenan and written by Peter Keenan and Barbara Crosby (nee Keenan) (deceased 2007).


26 January 1944

wedding photo Wilf-Venda-Keenan
circa 1972




Wilfred Keenan's wife (my mother) was Venda Cavell Keenan (nee Nolan), born 23 April 1916, in Warialda, New South Wales. She was a Sixth Generation Australian. Venda had 5 brothers, namely Ronald Nolan (b.12/11/1914), Jack Nolan (b.23/6/1917), Douglas Nolan (b.22/2/1919), Robert (Bob) Nolan (b.27/9/1920) and Errol Nolan (b.10/4/1922). (At 21/10/2011 only Doug Nolan in alive.) Their father was Henry Francis Nolan and their mother was Alga Vera Coulton. Venda and her siblings grew up in Young, New South Wales. Later in life Jack moved to Wagga Wagga and Doug moved to Sydney. In 1944 Venda settled with husband Wilf in Batlow, New South Wales, and began a family. She and her family moved from Batlow back to Young in about 1951. Then in 1953 they moved to Shepparton, Victoria, where Venda and Wilf spent the rest of their lives. But Venda remained close and kept in touch with her family, Wilf's family and her many friends in Young and Batlow. She had dozens of people on her Christmas card list. She was a very loving and caring person. She collected and kept photos, postcards, letters, newspaper cuttings, diaries, and memorabilia, and was, perhaps without realising it, the family historian.  She took enormous interest and pride in the lives and activities of her family and her grandchildren. Throughout the last 10 to 15 years of her life Venda's health failed, and she suffered badly from arthritis (feet and hands) and a stomach ulcer. She also had heart problems and, as it now appears,  suffered, silently, from depression. Nevertheless she devoted a great deal of time during her life to her family and neighbours, and to church, health and community groups. In 1990 a close friend wrote, affectionately: "you certainly are a great old battler". She died from pneumonia on Monday, 24 February 1992, and was buried on Thursday, 27 February 1992 at the Pine Lodge Cemetery, Shepparton East. (Venda was given her second name - Cavell - in honour of Edith Cavell, a British nurse executed by a German firing squad in October 1915 for helping Allied soldiers escape to freedom.)


Venda and Wilf were married by D. G. Garnsey, Rector of St John Anglican Church, Young. The following is the letter Rev Garnsey wrote to Venda on 13 January 1944, confirming a marriage ceremony for her on 26 January at 6pm:



First Generation: William Coulton, born circa 1802, died 1864 in Tamworth, New South Wales. Married Margaret H. Son: William Coulton.

Second Generation : William Coulton, born .......... , died 1877 in Tamworth, NSW. Married Mary A., who died in Manilla, NSW, 1887. Children: Elizabeth Coulton (b.1842); William Isaac Coulton (1843-1877); Mary A Coulton (b.1845); Charles Coulton (1848-1889); George Coulton (1840 ??-1878); Richard Coulton (1840??- 8/5/1888).

Third Generation: Richard Coulton, born 1840??, in Tamworth, NSW; died 8 May 1888 in Narrabri, NSW. Married Mary Agnes Short in 1867 in Tambaroora (Tenterfield), NSW. Children: William H Coulton (b.1868); Richard (John R) Coulton (1870-1944); Edward Coulton (1871-1943); Richard Ernest Coulton (b.1874); Albert Thomas Coulton (1876-1961); Agnes A Coulton (b.1878); Lennon James Coulton (1880-1881); Oswald D Coulton (b.1882); Mary A Coulton (b.1887); Elizabeth J Coulton (1885-1945).

Fourth Generation: Richard (John R) Coulton, born 1870 in Tamworth, NSW; died 1944 in Warialda, NSW. Married Sarah Jane Chapman in 1890 in Tamworth. Children: Alga Vera Coulton (b. 1891); Mona B Coulton (b. 1892).

Fifth Generation: Alga Vera Coulton, born 1891 in Manilla, NSW. Married Henry Frances Nolan in 1912 at Manilla, NSW. Children: Jack Coulton Nolan; Robert Nolan; Errol Nolan; Ronald Coulton Nolan (21-11-1914 to 6-11-2000); Venda Cavell Nolan and Douglas Coulton Nolan.


Information to come as soon as possible.