Father Donal R. Kehew


CUMBERLAND — Rev. Donal R. Kehew, 78, pastor emeritus of St. Andrew Church, Block Island, died on Sept. 19.

Born in Newport, son of the late Daniel and Margaret (Egan) Kehew, he attended Calvert-Cranston School, Cranston, St. Joseph School and De La Salle Academy in Newport and Providence College. From 1955-57, he served in the United States Army in Germany.

In preparation for the priesthood, Father Kehew studied at Our Lady of Providence Seminary in Warwick and at the American College in Louvain, Belgium. He was ordained a priest on June 29, 1963 in Louvain by Bishop John P. Cody.

Father Kehew served as assistant pastor at St. Joseph Church, Central Falls, from 1963 to 1965 before returning to the University of Louvain for post-graduate studies from 1965 to 1969. Returning to the Diocese of Providence, he served as chaplain at Brown University, Bryant College and Johnson & Wales Junior College, Providence.

In June 1975 he was appointed administrator/chaplain to the Providence Christian Community, which was later called the Genesis Community, and in July 1976 he was also appointed special lecturer in philosophy at Providence College.

In August 1981 he became temporary assistant chaplain at Rhode Island and Roger Williams hospitals, Providence with residence at St. John Rectory, Providence.

In October 1981 he was appointed a member of the Team Ministry at Sacred Heart Church in East Providence. In November 1987 he became temporary assistant pastor at St. Mary of the Bay Church, Warren and in January 1988, a professor at Providence College.

In October 1988, Father Kehew was appointed administrator, then pastor of St. Andrew Church on Block Island, while continuing as professor at Providence College. In July 2004 he retired as pastor emeritus of St. Andrew Church and moved to Regina Cleri Residence in Providence.

Father Kehew is survived by a sister, Mrs. Patricia (Blaine) O’Connell of Tiverton, seven nieces and nephews and several grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

He was the brother of the late Margaret (Raymond) Munz of Hauppauge, New York and Shelia (Frank) Fitzgerald of Taunton, Mass.

A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial was offered for the repose of his soul on Sept. 24 at St. Barnabas Church, Portsmouth with Bishop Thomas J. Tobin as the principal celebrant and Bishops Robert E. Mulvee, Louis E. Gelineau, Francis X. Roque, Ernest B. Boland and many priests concelebrating. Rev. Robert Hawkins, pastor of St. Luke Parish, Barrington, was the homilist.

Burial was in St. Columba Cemetery, Middletown.