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Thomas Roger Keane

Thomas Roger “Tom” Keane, aged 95, passed away on July 3, 2024, in Wilmington, Delaware. Born in 1928, in Boston, Massachusetts, Tom was the beloved son of Thomas Roger Keane Sr. and Mary Elisabeth (Berrigan) Keane.

Tom attended Boston Latin School and he furthered his studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning a master’s degree in Chemical Reaction Engineering in 1952. Shortly thereafter, he served his country as a First Lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers during the Korean War from 1951-53.

On July 2, 1955, Tom married his love Marie Jeanette Santora, marking the beginning of a partnership that would last 69 years. Marie cherishes her special memories of traveling at home and abroad with Tom. He was a devout parishioner at St. Mary Magdalen Parish, where he played guitar during the first parish folk masses and served as an educator in CCD classes alongside Marie. He was also actively involved in the Cursillo movement and served as a Eucharistic Minister.

During his career, Tom was an internationally recognized expert in chemical reaction engineering and thermodynamics. At the same time, he taught and inspired his colleagues as a leader in the DuPont technical community. His passion was to educate and mentor the next generation of engineers. A man of many interests, Tom was passionate about complex problem solving in mathematics and computer science and he shared this joy with family, friends and colleagues.  His was truly a beautiful mind. He taught chemical engineering at the University of Delaware, served as an editor of Chemical Engineering Science and worked with the ISCRE organization to sustain its growth and vibrancy for more than four decades. Tom was named a DuPont Fellow in 1991 and received the Chilton award in 1999. His colleagues recognized him as a consummate role model of what an industrial engineer should be.  He retired from DuPont in 1999 and in 2000 was awarded the prestigious Lavoisier Medal for technical achievement as an internationally recognized authority in chemical reaction engineering.  Most recently he shared his love of learning by teaching at the Osher Institute in Wilmington Delaware.

Tom is survived by his loving wife, Marie (Maria) Keane; his sister, Susan Keane; his children, T. Roger Keane III (Karen), Kathleen Keane (Stephen Small), Elisabeth Smith (David), Mary Christine Keane, and Julia Keane; and his grandchildren, Jenna Ruppert, Nicole Vaskov (Alex), Ryan Ruppert, Christopher Small, Rachel Keane, Alexandra Keane, Moses Small, and Jacob Keane, and his great grandchildren Claire and Carston Cronshaw, and Miles and Riley Doyle.

Tom was preceded in death by his brother Peter Keane and grandchild Thomas Roger Keane IV.

Tom led his life with integrity, humility and generosity and will be sorely missed by family friends and colleagues.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to a charity of your choice as a tribute to Tom’s remarkable life and legacy.

Funeral Services

Visitation with family and friends will be held at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Wilmington, Delaware, on Saturday, July 13th at 10:00 AM, followed by a memorial mass at 11:00 AM. All are welcome to attend.

The service is being live-streamed, please use the link below.


    Tiberiu M Leib lit a candle and writes,
    My sincere condolences to Marie and Tom's family. Tom was a mentor to me and I have many fond memories from our work and work-related travels together while in DuPont. He was truly an outstanding reaction engineer and also a kind and caring person. Will miss him. Tiby Leib
    07/06/2024 04:02 pm
    Rachel writes,
    My Poppop Tom was the smartest man I’ve ever known. I find comfort knowing that he held on for his anniversary with my Grandma DeeDee. Love is all you need. I know his wisdom and beautiful mind will continue to live on through my amazing Dad. Love you forever Poppop Tom.
    07/06/2024 04:19 pm
    Mike Harold lit a candle and writes,
    Tom Keane was a very kind, compassionate, and intelligent man. My thoughts and prayers are with Tom's family.
    07/06/2024 04:19 pm
    Senyo Opong writes,
    Tom was an extraordinary individual - a colleague, mentor, and friend. He possessed a brilliant mind with insatiable curiosity, and was all too eager to learn and share fascinating ideas and concepts. I will always treasure our numerous conversations about the history of chemical engineering at DuPont and its profound impact on the world. Tom is an integral part of that remarkable history. I will miss him dearly. May he rest in peace.
    07/06/2024 04:42 pm
    Brian Kipp lit a candle and writes,
    My deepest sympathies to Tom’s family. I really enjoyed working with Tom over many years at DuPont and always valued his insight. He was a titan of chemical industry knowledge and often came back to help us long after his retirement. I feel honored and privileged that I had the opportunity to know him.
    07/07/2024 09:49 am
    connie sadusky writes,
    It is sincere sympathy and warm thoughts that I send to Tom’s, Marie and family. We were very fortunate that he found time to work with us as we volunteered at Saint Mary Magdalen Parish. Peace to all of you and may the memories of his accomplishments support you in the coming days. Be blessed.
    07/07/2024 11:26 pm
    Jim Hainer writes,
    What memorable camaraderies giving classes together at OLLI. A great guy!
    07/08/2024 09:52 am
    James & Elaine Grant lit a candle and writes,
    Our sincere condolences to the family. Tom was a very kind and helpful colleague of mine for many years at DuPont. I was very grateful for his periodic trips to my office to offer some new tool that was available or to provide advice during my early years. Tom was a rare individual whose impact on the engineering community was felt by many and respected by all.
    07/08/2024 10:49 am
    Karen Fletcher lit a candle and writes,
    I first met Tom in 1981 when I was an intern at DuPont and he quickly became a mentor, a friendship that lasted the next several decades! He was generous with his time and insights, often stopping by my office to just say hello. An icon in his field, yet more known for his kindness and generosity. May he rest in peace.
    07/08/2024 11:41 am
    Karen Lundquist-Malkewitz writes,
    Even though Tom and I only worked together for a few years in the late 80s in the Reaction Engineering team, our friendship endured through the years. His warmth and caring were always came through in the phone calls while we were living on opposite coasts. Tom is recognized as a technical leader with an exquisite mind for complex design and problem solving. However, above all, Tom led with his heart. My heart goes out to Marie and the rest of the family wishing you peace and strength during this time of loss.
    07/08/2024 01:29 pm
    Penny Piro writes,
    I was fortunate to take a few computer classes with Tom at Osher. He was a wonderful, patient teacher and a true gentleman. I am truly sad to hear of his passing. My condolences go to his family at this time.
    07/08/2024 04:27 pm
    Don Eastham writes,
    Tom was the smartest man I ever met; I can't think of a question I ever posed to him that he couldn't or wouldn't answer. He was a devout christian and a profound gentleman. He was strong in his belief and when he developed a technical opinion he would stand by it even if was highly unpopular. What a privilege it was for me to be associated with Tom off and on during my 36 years with DuPont. May God bless and comfort Tom's family in this sad time. He will be sorely missed. I was privileged to visit him 2 years ago and recall some of the issues we dealt with over the years.
    07/08/2024 05:38 pm
    Abby Cronshaw writes,
    Thinking of you all, I am so sorry we will miss the service. Praying for peace for you all. Love, Josh, Abby, Hannah, Zane We love you Grandma! Claire, Miles, Carston, Riley
    07/09/2024 06:56 am
    Stephan M Brandstadter writes,
    I was lucky enough to meet and interact professionally & technically with Tom on several occasions. I assure you all the pleasure and privilege was all mine. My deepest sympathy to Tom's family. smb.
    07/09/2024 11:20 am
    Bert & Betsy Diemer writes,
    We are so sorry to be unable to make the service but our thoughts will be with Marie and the family as we travel. Tom's obituary describes the man I knew as a DuPont colleague very well, especially where it says, "His passion was to educate and mentor the next generation of engineers." I was a beneficiary of his passion in many ways, but two stand out in particular. He was one of my strongest supporters when I undertook mid-career doctoral studies, and his suggestion of Jon Olson, his teaching partner at University of Delaware, was crucial to my success in that endeavor. It led to a second career in university teaching, and I surely understand the joy he took in developing people because my greatest sense of satisfaction now comes from watching my own students succeed in their careers. In some respects, they can be rightly regarded as a second generation of Tom's influence. A great engineer, a great colleague, and a great man.
    07/09/2024 09:37 pm
    Bill Murphy lit a candle and writes,
    My sincere condolences to Tom’s family. I first met Tom in 1978 at Louviers. Tom was a consummate gentleman and the nicest and smartest man I knew. He was a great colleague but also like a work father to many of us young engineers. He went out of his busy way to mentor and help me succeed. I will always remember him fondly. Bill Murphy
    07/10/2024 09:41 am
    Thomas Simpson lit a candle and writes,
    I am so sorry to hear that Tom has passed and wish his family my deepest sympathies. Tom was always happy to share a smile and some guidance to young engineers and was generous with his time and knowledge whenever there was a question. His contributions to DuPont and to the Engineering department are still felt to this day and will continue to be impactful well into the future.
    07/12/2024 08:57 pm
    michael writes,
    Dear karen and roger love u both very much very sorry for the loss of your loving father/father-in-law rest in peace mr.keane
    07/13/2024 07:28 am
    07/13/2024 07:14 pm
    karen diamond lit a candle and writes,
    Nicole Alex(husband) Rachel Alexandra and Jacob Aunt Karen loves u 4 so much sorry for the loss of your loving Pop pop he was proud of u all Hugs aunt karen
    07/14/2024 04:30 pm
    Debora F. Massouda writes,
    I have fond memories of Tom as a Professor at UD and as a mentor when I joined DuPont. He certainly left a great legacy in all the lives that he touched.
    07/15/2024 01:53 pm

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