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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:

  • During Phase III – Funeral Homes may operate at 40% capacity while serving one family at a time.  Funeral ceremonies may now be public up to the capacity limits.
  • Social distancing will be maintained at all times. Team members will make verbal reminders of this and signage has been posted.
  • Team members and all our guests will be required to wear face coverings at all times.
  • Hand washing capabilities are provided within the facility and encouraged prior to and after visiting our facility.
  • Bottled water only will be offered. Use of water coolers/fountains is discontinued.
  • Facility hygiene will be constantly monitored to prevent virus transmission. This includes disinfection of conference rooms, equipment, workspaces and especially family gathering areas.
  • 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:

  • Public funeral ceremonies in our facilities or local churches. (Limited to 40% of facility capacity.)
  • Meaningfully designed processions to the place of disposition. (Restrictions vary.)
  • Cemetery ceremonies celebrated by clergy or lay people. (Restrictions vary.)
  • Complimentary live streaming and recording of ceremonies for remote participation.
  • Complimentary public memorials when funeral ceremonies had to be private.
  • Complimentary care of a person who has been cremated until future ceremonies.
  • Enhanced obituaries written by published authors.
  • Active encouragement of electronic condolence messages to comfort families.
  • Unique memorialization options such as cremation and fingerprint keepsakes.

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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