Susan Keenan

Obituary of Susan deGraffenried Keenan

Susan deGraffenried Keenan of Charleston passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Sunday, May 21, 2023 following a courageous battle with Glioblastoma brain cancer.  The third of four daughters, Susan was born in Columbia on July 26, 1955 to Mr. And Mrs. Richard deGraffenried Keenan(Lally and Shiney).


Susan graduated from A. C. Flora High School and the University of South Carolina where she was a member of Tri Delta sorority. Following graduation, she joined the family business, Keenan Oil Company, where she followed in her father’s footsteps of developing close relationships with everyone, from the best truck drivers to the Gaz-Bah staff.  She also served on the SC Oil Jobbers Association and the Gasahol Exploration Committee.  


In 1985 Susan moved to Pawleys Island where she lived for over 30 years, creating a life filled with the greatest love of her children and family, innumerable friends and deep love of God’s never ending compassion.


Susan worked for several years as the manager and buyer at The Joggling Board.  At the same time, she joined forces to establish the Lowcountry Day School where she served on the Board of Directors.


As a devoted and loving mother, she realized her gifts would be better served as working part time at All Saints School which led to working with the Rev. Charles H, Murphy III at All Saints Waccamaw Episcopal Church and later at the Anglican Mission of America and The Abbey at Pawleys Island.  


Under the founding and leadership of then Bishop Murphy, Susan was instrumental in growing ministries throughout the US and across the world.  As Chief of Staff, Susan was a key player in the building and establishment of The Abbey at Pawleys Island in 2012. Throughout this time she found the greatest joy and reward in her mission work to Rwanda working with Arch Bishop Emmanuel Kolini and many others. 


Upon Bishop Murphy’s death in 2018, Susan returned to Columbia working with The Salmond Group at Morgan Stanley and reconnecting with old friends and making new friends.  


Susan moved to Charleston in 2020 to be closer to her family and old friends.  It didn’t take her long to make new friends in Charleston and do what she always did best; connect, love and entertain new and old friends.  


Throughout her life, Susan was a member of several organizations including the SC Bankers Association, the Georgetown Hospital Women’s Auxiliary Board, the Apostolic Mission College of Consultors and the National Society of the Colonial Dames in America. 


During her recent illness the outpouring of love and support for Susan reflected the profound impact she had on so many people. She will be remembered for her radiant smile, engaging  personality and unwavering faith in humanity and the Lord.  


In honoring Susan’s life and the immeasurable impact she had, let us remember the lessons she taught us of embracing the wonders of the world, nurturing our faith, and fostering genuine connections with those around us. 


Susan is survived by her daughter, Keenan Grayson Harn (Jason) of McClellanville, and son, Wilson deGraffenried Grayson of Charleston and her beloved granddaughters, Mary Alice Harn, Loyal Ann Harn and newborn Susan Grace Harn.  In addition, she leaves behind her sisters, Elmira Keenan Weston (Robert) of Columbia, Lucia Green Keenan (Rick Stolbach) of Tampa and Julia Walker Keenan Norwood (Dee) of Charleston and many Keenan and Grayson nieces and nephews who adored their Aunt “SuSu”.  The list would not be complete without the family’s Guiding Light, Josephine Richardson of Georgetown.


A Memorial Service for Susan will be held on Saturday, May 27 at 11:00am at The Abbey at Pawleys Island and will be streamed live on Susan’s Facebook page.  A reception will be held following the service.  

In remembering our remarkable and ever smiling Susan, it is only fitting that we forego our usual dark funeral attire and celebrate her joyous life in our most happy and colorful attire to honor the bright light and happiness Susan brought to everyone. 


In lieu of flowers, we hope you will consider a contribution to the charity of your choice and/or treat yourself and a friend or family member to a memorable meal at your favorite restaurant.


Last, but not least, the family would like to extend their most heartfelt appreciation to Leighton Pugh Avinger and Natasika Walker of Agape Hospice for their loving care of our beloved Susan over the last few months.

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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Simplicity LowCountry Cremation & Burial Services Inc | North Charleston
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