Marty Keelan didn’t exactly have a conventional reason to move to Franklin: he came to live in a tipi! Through the years, the Keelans have moved all over the country for their work, but in their hearts, Franklin is their home.
In June 1984, Marty came to Franklin for a job as a tipi parent with VisionQuest. He lived in the tipi with the kids and commuted back to Cleveland on his days off. At the time, Sue was an internal auditor with JB Robinson Jewelers in Cleveland. In 1985, Sue ventured to Franklin in the dead of winter to meet some of the VisionQuest people and see where Marty worked. In May of that year, she accepted a position as a Business Manager at VisionQuest. Sue and Marty were married April 1986 their adventures with VisionQuest led them to leave Franklin in June to travel the country on a wagon train for 5 months.
This area holds a special place in both of their hearts as the birthplace of their daughters, Colleen was born in Oil City on Christmas Eve 1988. They left Franklin again in June 1988 for Honeybrook, PA where Marty became a Program Director for VisionQuest and then onto a wagon train returning to Franklin again in 1992. This time they remained in Franklin for 12 years while working with VisionQuest, having their second daughter in July 1994 at Northwest Medical Center in Franklin.
The Keelans became heavily involved in the community through volunteering on their own and through VisionQuest, which is how they made friends and worked hard together with so many wonderful people over the years. Sue said the community of Franklin is welcoming, a great place to raise a family and has a great spirit of volunteerism. Marty and Sue coordinated the community service projects for VisionQuest for many years. Through St. Patrick Church and St. Patrick School, Kiwanis Club, Knights of Columbus, the Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce and Applefest they have volunteered many hours along with their daughters.
Again in 2004, Marty and Sue moved to California with the family and VisionQuest. When it was time to leave there, they were asked if they wanted to return to Franklin or move to Florida with the company. The answer was Franklin! They returned and again became very involved in community activities and volunteering as did their daughter Megan who became very involved with Holy Jeans and the Barrow-Civic Theater.
Aside from the people, another thing the Keelans love about Franklin is the downtown. It’s a great place to take a walk, with many stops off to talk with friends or to relax walking near the river, Sue said. “You can’t beat walking down to have dinner and always meeting friends you hadn’t planned on seeing or having someone stop by your front porch to talk.”
Colleen and her husband and daughter live in Morgantown, WV where she is a Forensic Psychologist and Megan is currently in law school at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. The kids and granddaughter love to come back to visit. If here during Applefest, they have to watch out or they will end up helping out somewhere with Sue or Marty volunteering just like when they lived at home.
After Sue and Marty left VisionQuest, they were fortunate enough to find jobs they love that kept them in the area. Sue is an Accountant at Venango Training & Development Center with a little side job at the local mall at Bath & Body Works and Marty is a Milieu Therapist at UPMC Northwest.
“As a family that has moved away and always came back even though we were originally not from this area, Franklin is home and always will be no matter where we are.”