Paul Jean McKeen

Paul Jean McKeen

Paul Jean McKeen

Mesa, Ariz.

Paul Jean McKeen was born December 15, 1931 in Chicago, Ill. His parents were Eugene McKeen and Dorothy McKeen. He had two siblings, Pat (McKeen) Fessler and Dick McKeen. He grew up in Morgan Park in Chicago, attending Morgan Park High School until the family moved to Mount Vernon, Iowa when he was 16. Paul graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1949. He attended Cornell College from 1949 to 1952.

He was drafted and joined the U.S. Army on August 18, 1952. Prior to his basic training, he married the love of his life Donna Jean Hof, who was also a student at Cornell College. Paul described Donna as one of God’s angels. Their daughter, Elizabeth Jean McKeen (Wehrman) was born in El Paso, Texas in 1953. He served in an artillery battalion providing perimeter defense in Anchorage, Alaska through 1954. After his military service he returned to college at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. He attended the University of Iowa through 1956 graduating with a BA Degree in Economics.

He began a career in direct sales while studying at the University, and also began a lifelong passion as a supporter of the University of Iowa and its sports programs. Paul and Donna had three more children, Paul Douglas McKeen, Kristin Kay McKeen (Helm) who passed away in 2003, and Timothy Eugene McKeen. They continued as lifelong residents of Iowa City as Paul remained in the sales and finance business building three successful businesses including Lifetime Enterprises and Budget Acceptance Plan from 1956 through 1999.

Paul’s passion for the University of Iowa sports programs continued. Paul and his brother Dick McKeen were instrumental in the development and expansion of the Johnson County Iowa Club, and developed friendships with the coaches and staff of all programs. They helped develop the tradition of the Johnson County Iowa Club breakfasts before each home football game. For their support and efforts on behalf of the Iowa Club, they were both honored as honorary letterman in 1983. Paul continued to bleed black and gold. Recently, he was honored by the University of Iowa in 2023 as one of the “Eight over 80” graduates who continue to give back to others and to the University.

Paul and Donna moved to Mesa, Arizona in 1999 and Paul continued to sell long-term care insurance and provided consulting services while he invested in real estate.

Paul’s wife Donna passed away in August of 2018. Paul is survived by his daughter Beth, and husband Rich Wehrman, his son Doug and wife Cynthia Luse-McKeen, and his son Tim and wife Jill McKeen. He is also survived by his grandchildren Carissa (Wehrman) Princer (Brian), Briana (Wehrman) Vilayoune (Phon), Hanna (McKeen) Bartels (Dr. Doug), Jordan McKeen and Dr. Janeen Wedeking (Derek). He also is survived by 7 great-grandchildren.

Paul was a much-loved husband, father, father-in-law, grandpa, brother, favorite uncle, and friend.

There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they are gone, the light remains.

Cards can be sent in care of Beth Wehrman, 709 Maxwell Street, Maxwell, IA 50161-1002.

While memories of Paul are most important, if his friends and family wish to provide a memorial, the University of Iowa Center for Advancement supports his love of the University of Iowa.

Memorial contributions may be made in support of Paul Jean McKeen to the University of Iowa Center for Advancement, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, IA 52244-4550. On the memo line or on a note attached, please indicate “Gift in memory of Paul Jean McKeen.” Credit card gifts may be made at

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