Tribute To Jean Keene
Jean Keene spoke simply of herself: “I am a tough old broad.” To me, she was a remarkable woman … a valued friend, and in many ways, my Alaska mom. I feel honored to have known her. My trips to Alaska would not have been complete without sharing time with Jean.
Jean was passionate about two things: bald eagles and children. Her labor of love through every Alaskan winter was to be outside feeding the eagles. She was their Alaska mom: feeding, caring, finding help for the injured. As for children, their cards and letters came daily from around the world. Each day, she would pack her tote bag with mail and head to Lands End to sit in “her booth.” She loved reading each and every one, and made every effort to reply to all.
Stories of her work with the eagles stretched across the globe and touched many lives, including nature photographers and wildlife enthusiasts. She appeared on several network television shows, as well as newspaper and magazine articles, but at the end of the day, her love was not the notoriety, but to do what she could to benefit Bald Eagles.
Although I miss her greatly, my emptiness is filled by knowing she is soaring with them in a much more peaceful place. Thank you, Jean, for all you did… for the eagles, and for me, by allowing me to share time and place with all of you.
All photographs by Dee Ann Pederson
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