The year 1962 saw the success of the nation's first astronaut mission in space and the first broadcast via television satellite. The United States committed to Vietnam and the world avoided nuclear war with the settlement of the Cuban Missile Crisis. At Gilmour, John Kealy ’62 was wrapping up his studies as he prepared to attend Georgetown University. "l developed good, lasting, special friendships from my Gilmour days with Bob Olson, Jon Newton, Dan McMullan, Bill Faller, Bill Nook, Jim Herget, Jim McMonagle and Charlie Schenkelberg," Kealy says. "l was never cynical about the use of the phrase 'Gilmour Family'."
Though Kealy did not fully realize it at the time, his Gilmour experience fortified him for life's challenges. Two months after he began law school at Case Western Reserve University, Kealy's father had a heart attack and died at 50. As the oldest child, Kealy ran his family's trucking company, graduated from law school in 1966 and married his longtime friend Carole, whom he had known since sixth grade. "Almost all the stories of my life involve my wife, Carole," he notes. "She is truly a party looking for a happening."
He recalls that period of his life as a hectic time perhaps solidifying the lifelong importance of prayer, which he believes is more attitude than activity.
"l had to grow up very quickly and I drew upon the knowledge I gained at Gilmour," he says. "It helped develop the maturity for handling these tasks."
Kealy has practiced law 38 years. "People always think of lawyers as accomplished speakers, but the truth is, they must be good listeners before they speak," he says. "I always try to ask myself, ls it true? ls it kind? ls it necessary? before I speak." He has found that being able to laugh at yourself and not taking yourself too seriously also are advantageous in getting through life.
Kealy served on the Ohio Real Estate Commission for four years, evaluating continuing education courses for real estate agents and judging complaints against them. He also has been active in local political campaigns. Despite all this, he claims no outstanding accomplishments, yet recognizes the importance children have in defining one's life. The role his four children have played in his life is no less exemplary. Kevin is the fourth generation to operate the family business. Christine graduated from Gilmour in 1990, lives in Massachusetts and is involved with child care. Peter taught English to Korean children after graduating from Fordham University and is working on an M.B.A. at the University of Washington. Elizabeth graduated from Shaker Heights High School and lives in Cleveland. She is adopted and a special needs child. "Elizabeth is the real joy and challenge in our lives," Kealey says. Their spouses and children - Kealy now celebrates with five grandchildren and has a sixth on the way - complete the family picture.
Looking back on the 48 years since his graduation from Gilmour, Kealy admits, "l did not think an educational experience so remote in my life would have such a major impact." He is convinced that the school really has an interest in how his life has progressed over the years.