Alma Phylis Keenan

Alma Phylis Keenan (née Angelozzi/Battle) was born in Delia, Alberta to Felice Angelozzi and Irene Crossley on March 6, 1925, and passed away on December 27, 2023 in Victoria, BC.

 Alma began her life on one of the original farmsteads created just outside of Delia, Alberta, where she grew up with her parents and 7 siblings. After high school, Alma was accepted at the Ponoka Mental Health Hospital to train and work as a psychiatric nurse, earning enough to finance her education at the University of Alberta School of Nursing, where she graduated as an RN in 1948.  It was a time when nurses were much needed during and after the war and in spite of the challenges and long hours, she was thrilled to have her own room and eat her daily meals with silver cutlery and linen napkins.

In the late 1940’s, she continued nursing in the small towns of Alberta eventually moving to Red Deer, where she met and married her husband Arthur Keenan in 1951. Arthur was from England and served in the Royal Navy during the war. They moved to Edmonton, Alberta where Arthur began his career as a stock broker and Alma worked at the University of Alberta Hospital and where they raised their 3 children. Alma was known as a progressive thinker in the neighbourhood, being one of the few women who worked outside the home in the late 1950’s and 60’s, believing it was important for women to be independent and care for themselves. She was also known as the neighborhood nurse, looking after the cuts and scrapes of various children and sending them on their way.

 In 1979, Arthur accepted a transfer to Victoria, BC, where Alma continued to work as an RN for sometime. Notably, she worked at the Kiwanis Pavilion when it first opened in 1982, which ironically was the facility she spent her last years in as a resident.

 Arthur passed away in 1991 at age 64 and amazingly Alma remained living in her own house until she was 91. After she retired she continued to live a remarkable and active life, involving herself in many volunteer activities (including serving as a Director of Citizen’s Counselling), golfing, playing tennis, lawn bowling, gardening, and spending time with family and friends. She took great pride in her independence and her appearance and being someone who could always be counted upon during times of need.  

 She leaves to mourn:  her three children and their spouses; Elizabeth (Scott Killam), Heather Keenan (Peter Breen), and William Keenan (Denise); 2 granddaughters Zoë and Tiffin Breen; her brother, Wayne Battle, her sister Gloria Johnson (Keith), Elsie Battle (sister-in-law) and many nieces and nephews.

 She will long be remembered as a wonderful mother, an inspirational, strong, brave and independent woman; a dedicated nurse, and a wonderful example and mentor to her family and friends.

 There will be no Funeral Service. In lieu of flowers, donations to the CNIB or the ALS Society would be appreciated.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Over the years I have heard so many wonderful stories about Alma. I had the pleasure of meeting her on several occasions but listening to stories of her made me feel like a close friend.
    Russ and I send our love to her family.

  2. Bill & Sandi Bradshaw

    Our dear Alma. Admired and loved her so much. What fun times we had. The little things like her chewing rice. My time living with the family was so exciting. Like the day she and I went down into the bushes to chop down a Christmas tree. Good thing there were no Edmonton cops around. We would have been in jail. Our sympathy to you Heather, Liz and Bill. Love you all and you are in our prayers.

  3. Auntie Alma was my nurse in the red Deer Hospital when I had croup at 3 years old. I remember her.
    Since then Alma has been an important part of my life in so many ways. She was always there to help in any way she could. I looked up to her. She was so smart and as a young person and into my later life, I loved to listen to her opinions on everything that mattered…..important things. She was authentic and a bright light and had a huge heart.
    Alma was my ‘West Coast Mom’. I miss her and wish that I could have spent more time with her. She truly was and is an inspiration to me. I love you Auntie Alma.

  4. So sad to say goodbye to Alma.She was a kind,classy ,intelligent,woman.She was a wonderful grandmother to my girls .Her whole family embraced Zoe and Tiffin which brought great abundance to them with our blended, mended, family.She was always kind and inclusive to me .In doing so ,she demonstrated her generosity of spirit and kindness to take on the role of grandmother.I admired her independence and her ability to not suffer fools gladly!I always loved our conversations and her perspective on life.Her last years were hard but she is finally at peace and her spirit has finally been released.I will miss Alma she was a very special spirit and grateful for all she contributed to Zoe Tiffin and my life.

  5. You know how much I loved Alma. I always refer to her as my second mother. Her love and guidance throughout my life will always be so dear to me. She was a force of nature and at the same time gentle, empathetic, wise and nurturing. I see and feel you in your daughter and my dear friend, Liz. I am forever grateful for all the love and support that you gave me and my family. You will always be with me, Alma, in my heart and soul, and through your beautiful daughter, Elizabeth.

  6. As next-door-neighbours growing up, the Keenan’s house was my second home. Not only was Alma my Mom’s best friend and our family nurse, she spent many hours with Elizabeth and me helping us to sew and bake and think critically about life. I remember her efficient way of getting things done and then sitting in the sun when she could. She had a style and as a young girl I looked in awe at her collection of shoes and bags. She was one-of-a-kind and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

  7. As next-door-neighbour growing up, the Keenan house was my second home. Not only was Alma my Mom’s close friend and our family nurse, she spent many hours with Elizabeth and me helping us learn to sew and bake and navigate life. She had an amazing style and I was always in awe of her collection of shoes and bags. She was one of a kind, a warm and beautiful soul who will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

  8. My condolences to Heather, Bill and Liz. Out of all the neighborhood mothers (other than my own) I liked your Mom very much. She fixed up a few of my scrapes but I will never forget the day she invited me to join her for tea. I was six. Yes, she definitely was one-of-a-kind!

  9. My condolences to all the family.I did not know Alma until we moved to Vancouver Island when my husband retired. She became a great friend and I have great memories of our tennis games, golf and lawn bowls. Alma was agreat comfort to me when my husband was very ill. He always enjoyed her visits. I remember him saying,it is great to see Alma she is so wise,she knows when to leave and can see I am getting tired.Lots of great memories and Alma so loved the onion rings at prospect lake after golf,,

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