John Keen - Former editor of the Hemel Hempstead Gazette

Former Hemel Hempstead Gazette editor John Keen, who died last
month, proved he was a true journalist until the last by writing his
own obituary.

John, who was 74 when he died in hospital on Tuesday, 19 April, had suffered a stroke.

He had often told his family that he had already penned his own obituary and it was kept in a drawer at his home.

John began his journalism career on the Watford Observer when he was 16, after leaving Hemel Hempstead Grammar School.

In 1956, he joined the Hemel Hempstead Gazette as chief reporter and sports editor and later became news editor.

John came into contact with many sports clubs and personalities, which led to the creation of the Gazette Cup in 1960.

He
was appointed editor in 1972 and became a director of Hertfordshire
Newspapers a year later. He remained with the board until his
retirement in 1987.

John and his wife Joyce, who divorced in
1980, were married at St Mary’s Church, Hemel Hempstead, in 1953 and
had a son, Grenville, and daughter, Fiona. There are three
grandchildren, Chloe, Robyn and Jonty.

John’s cremation was held on 3 May.

In
recognition of his lifelong interest in football, donations were made
in lieu of flowers to the John Keen Memorial Fund, which is being set
up to establish a football cup or shield.

Ann Traynor

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