James “Jim” Joseph Keating, III, 73, of Kennebunk, died May 10, 2020 at Bradford Commons after a long illness. He was surrounded by his wife, Francine and his brother, Richard when he passed.

Jim was born Oct. 29, 1946 in Woburn, Massachusetts, the elder son of James and Ann (Peterson) Keating, Jr. The family lived in Stoneham, Massachusetts, and Jim’s Dad ran the J.J. Keating Trucking Co. Jimmy would accompany some of the truckers on their daily routes. Even at a young age he had a sense of adventure! Jimmy started working with his father in the antiques and auction business at the ripe age of 5 and loved antiques and their history from then on.

Jim’s family moved in 1957 to the Elm Haven Farm in Kennebunk on Route 1 north and continued the antiques and auction business in the large white barn. Everyone in the family was involved in helping with the business. Jim spent many days and nights loading and unloading trucks.

Jim graduated from Kennebunk High school in 1964. He then attended Hobart College in Geneva, New York. Jimmy served his country in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era in Germany. After his two years in the service, he returned to the family business, working with his father, brother Richard and sister Judy, who helped on appraisals as a gemologist. He worked in the family business for over 60 years.

On April 11, 1970, Jim married Francine Brent, a Holyoke Massachusetts girl. This April, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Jim and Fran traveled all over the world together. Their favorite place in the winter for over 30 years was the island of Little Exuma in the Bahamas, until Jim’s illness made travel impossible for him. They also belonged to an MG touring club and traveled in Fran’s vintage MG all over New England with fellow car members and friends. They journeyed to Cape Cod with good friends every fall and loved to shop and sightsee.

Jim was a great storyteller. He loved to entertain his family, friends and the auction crowd with his knowledge, stories and wit. He definitely could light up a room and make people laugh. Jim had a great knowledge of the Kennebunk’s and collected local memorabilia. Jim could always give a great local history lesson to new members of the community

Jim loved antiques and he loved the auction business he shared with his brother, Richard. Some of their auctions were held outside under a tent. Many a night Jim would sleep in the tent, with his Smith and Wesson, protecting the precious items that would be going on the auction block. Eventually, they moved the auctions indoors to the large hall and have held the auctions there since then. Jim was last at the auction podium in 2019. When he stepped off the podium, the audience all clapped.

Jim was a Kennebunk Savings Bank director since October, 1993, and during his 27-year tenure served on a number of committees, vice chairman, and chairman of the board from 2013-2015. Jim also served on the Maine Auction Board for over 30 years and the Hope Cemetery board. He was an active Rotarian for over 40 years, loved being the sergeant at arms, and worked many a chicken barbecue. He also served on the town of Kennebunk Planning Board. Jim enjoyed teaching classes on antiques appreciation for Adult Education in Kennebunk. Jim was proud to be an Eagle Scout.

In addition to his parents, Jim was predeceased by his sister, Judith Keating.

Jim is lovingly remembered by his wife, Francine of Kennebunk; his brother, Richard and his wife, Mary of Kennebunk; his sister, Joanne Keating Johnson and her husband, Jerry of Grayton Beach, Florida; his half-brother, John P. Keating and his wife, Emily of Astoria, New York; his nieces, Jillian Johnson, Ann-Catherine Keating, Navah Luxenberg, and nephew James Keating, five stepsisters and many close friends.

Due to precautions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, a celebration of life and memorial service will be held at a later time. Should friends choose, memorial donations in his name are encouraged to: National Ataxia Foundation, 600 Highway 169 South, Suite 1725, Minneapolis, MN 55426 ([email protected]).




To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Jim’s Book of Memories page at www.bibberfuneral.com.

Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer St., Kennebunk, www.bibbermemorial.com.