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March 15, 2020

“Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land, and their loyalty to high ideals.”

–William Gladstone

These words from William Gladstone have served as a guide for the Keohane team throughout our over 100-year legacy of caring for families on the South Shore. Today, in the face of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, our team remains steadfastly resolute in our commitment to caring for those who have died and, in an equally important way, those who survive them. To that end, our team is working diligently to respond compassionately, safely and efficiently to the needs of the communities we serve as we unite in the fight to contain this pandemic.

“The pandemic is an unprecedented situation which has caused additional stress and concerns for families facing a loss”, said firm Co-President John E. Keohane. “We hope that through these initiatives we may allay many of these concerns so that families may focus on the emotional healing they need.”

In response to the most recent public health directives given by local, state and federal governments, Keohane has instituted the following safeguards:

  • Social Distancing will be maintained at all times. Team members will make verbal reminders of this and signage has been posted.
  • Keohane has limited funeral ceremonies to private gatherings of no more than 10 family members.
  • Facility hygiene will be constantly monitored to prevent virus transmission. This includes disinfection of conference rooms, equipment, workspaces and especially family gathering areas.
  • Bottled water only will be offered. Use of water coolers/fountains is discontinued.
  • Team members caring for a deceased person will continue to use universal precautions, will observe social distancing and will increase facility and equipment hygiene to reduce the likelihood of virus transmission with particular sensitivity to situations where a person has died at home.

“In addition to these safeguards, our team has also developed several initiatives that we hope will provide our community with opportunities to connect and share despite the threat of COVID-19”, added firm Co-President Dennis W. Keohane. “Social isolation is a concern for all of us but most especially for those like the grieving and our seniors who need connection most. We hope that these initiatives will help people feel less isolated.”

Keohane is offering the following initiatives to help families heal and to aid in the reduction of virus transmission and social isolation:

  • Remote funeral planning meetings by videoconference.
  • Live streaming and recording of funeral ceremonies.
  • Electronic and/or courier document processing.
  • Public memorial ceremonies for those required to have private funeral ceremonies.
  • Enhanced obituaries written by published authors.
  • Tribute videos honoring the deceased posted on
  • Active encouragement of electronic condolence messages to comfort families.
  • South Shore COVID-19 Neighbor Network, a Facebook group where people can connect and support one another during the pandemic.

The entire Keohane team is prepared to care for families and protect the public health. Every team member is working diligently to ensure that the firm can continue to provide a high level of service to families and the community during this time. Those seeking additional information or wishing to leave condolence messages may visit Those with urgent needs or questions should call 1-800-KEOHANE.

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