By Cary Shuman
Bob and Susan Kehoe will lead a group of family and friends in the Boston Brain Tumor Walk Oct. 20 at Carson Beach, South Boston.
The group is “Team Jules,” and it is named in memory of their daughter, Julie Kehoe, a retired, U.S. Coast Guard Senior Chief Petty Officer, who died on July 14, 2017 after a gallant battle against cancer. She was 44 years old, just two days shy of her 45th birthday.
Julie’s mother, Susan (King) Kehoe, is a 1967 graduate of Everett High School and lived in Everett for 22 years. Julie’s grandfather, Joseph King, served on the Everett City Council for almost 40 years.
A Talented Swimmer at Northeast Regional
Julie grew up on Willard Street in Chelsea. She attended kindergarten at the Mary C. Burke School and grades 1-8 at the Our Lady of Assumption School.
Julie took one year of dance lessons from legendary teacher Joyce Sartorelli, but she found her extracurricular passion in swimming, becoming an award-winning swimmer as a youth and later an All-Star during her career at Northeast Regional Vocational High School in Wakefield.
“Her team was all boys and she was the fastest swimmer,” recalled her mother, Susan.
Julie specialized in graphic arts at Northeast, studied at Bunker Hill Community College and then joined the United States Coast Guard.
She served her country for 23 years and was one of the first responders to the 9-11 terrorist attack in New York City.
During her 23 years of service in the Coast Guard in the U.S.A. and all over the world, Julie received numerous medals, many for her work in successful search-and rescue operations in waters. She was honored at Fenway Park as part of the Red Sox “Hats Off to Heroes” program, receiving a standing ovation in recognition of her meritorious service.
Julie retired from the Coast Guard in 2016 and was recruited to be a nautical science professor at the Northeast Maritime Institute, where a scholarship has been named in her memory.
She died of neuroblastoma, an incurable brain tumor. She was diagnosed in May, 2017 and waged a gallant, two-month battle against the rapidly progressing illness.
Vincent Patton, Master Chief Petty Officer of the USCG, delivered the eulogy at her funeral before a tremendous assemblage in Bourne, lauding Julie Kehoe’s exceptional service and exemplary leadership.
Julie was the wife of Judith ‘Jude’ Morgan and the sister of Joy Kehoe-Paige.
“We’re very proud of her,” said Susan Kehoe. “We miss her terribly.”
A Walk to Raise Funds for Cancer Research
Bob and Susan Kehoe have been planning for the National Brain Tumor Walk for the past several months. Their daughter, Joy, will walk as will other relatives and friends. The group will donate the funds raised to cancer research.
Bob Kehoe noted that it was incurable brain cancer that claimed the lives of U.S. Senators Ted Kennedy and John McCain and Beau Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden.
“There is a lot of research being done, but there is no cure for it,” said Kehoe.
Team Jules will be wearing custom-made blue T-shirts during the walk. Bob Kehoe will wear his daughter’s 9-11 “Operation Freedom N.Y.” hat.
Said Susan Kehoe about her beautiful daughter, “She was a wonderful sister, a wonderful aunt to my other daughter’s [Joy] children – she was very supportive, very protective. She had a wonderful laugh. Everybody talks about her smile – that was the biggest thing. She had a great sense of humor. And she was a very loyal friend.”
(People wishing to make a donation in Julie Kehoe’s memory should go to: Boston Brain Tumor Walk and type in Susan Kehoe and Team Jules.)