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Martin "Marty" Keough '48 March 23, 2021 4:44 PM updated: March 23, 2021 4:49 PM

Martin Baxter Keough
FEBRUARY 15, 1927 – MARCH 15, 2021

Martin Baxter Keough, 94, passed away peacefully on Monday, March 15, 2021 surrounded by the loved ones of his immediate family.

Amulti-generation native of Houston, he was born on February 15, 1927 and grew up in the Heights area. During his upbringing, he was affectionately known to family and close friends as “Sonny” - a tradition carried down to the time of his passing. He grew up during the years of the Great Depression, was a 1944 graduate of John H. Reagan High School and participated during the final months of the second world war by serving as a corpsman in the United States Navy. Following his service to country, he attended the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now known as Texas A&M University) where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering as a member of the class of ‘48.

His professional career began in the oil industry where he worked as an engineer for Texaco; this was followed by a period of employment with Texas Metal Fabricating Co. in Houston. In the early 1960’s, he joined the Boeing Co. in New Orleans, LA. where he worked as a NASA contractor on the Saturn project and gained experience with the nation’s manned space flight program that would advance him through the rest of his career. It was also while there that he met and married a young Loretta Purin; the two remained married for 55 years until the time of his recent passing. In 1965, he joined NASA where for the remainder of his career he worked in various engineering and managerial roles at the Johnson Space Center in Houston in support of projects vital to the national manned space interest. This included the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz and Space Shuttle programs. He retired in 1995 after 30 years with NASA. He was a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas.

Aside from his professional accomplishments, he will be remembered as a solid family man - husband, father and grandfather - who walked a straight line through life. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and he and wife Loretta have been long time parishioners at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church in Sagemont. He was always present in the lives of his four sons as they grew to adulthood providing direction and taking an active interest in the arc of their lives. He was preceded in death by his parents Mathew and Zula Keough, sons David and Kyle, sister and brother-in-law Barbara Jean and Hilmar (Havemann), and nephew Lee (Havemann). He is survived by his wife Loretta, sons Scott '92, Patrick, Ryan '98 and wife Renee (Kikta), grandchildren Case and Kylie, as well as his nephew Luke (Havemann) and niece Lucy (Havemann).

Funeral services will be held on March 27 at Forest Park Lawndale Funeral Home located at 6900 Lawndale Avenue in Houston. Arrangements will include visitation and viewing in the Chapel of the Angels from 11:00AM to 12:15PM followed by a recitation of the rosary led by the Knights of Columbus and eulogy. A funeral service will be held from 1:00PM to 2:00 PM followed by a graveside internment. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the VFW at


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