1Celebrating the lives of Francis James Keenan and Jarod
2VonRueden and expressing condolences to their families upon
3their untimely and tragic passing.

4WHEREAS, Francis James Keenan, 28, of Clarks Summit and his
5climbing partner, Jarod VonRueden, 22, of Clyman in Dodge
6County, Wisconsin, began a climb to the top of the nearly
723,000-foot Mount Aconcagua in the Andes Mountain Range, the
8highest peak in North and South America, on December 20, 2013;

10WHEREAS, Mr. Keenan and Mr. VonRueden began their climb up
11the Polish Glacier after qualifying for and receiving the
12required permits; and

13WHEREAS, Mr. Keenan and Mr. VonRueden reached the top of the 
14mountain, one of the famed Seven Summits, nearly four miles 
15above the Province of Mendoza in Argentina on December 31, 2013;


2WHEREAS, Mr. Keenan and Mr. VonRueden began to make the climb 
3down when authorities received an alert from a rescue beacon 
4registered to Mr. VonRueden, prompting a search for the 
5climbers; and

6WHEREAS, The search and rescue turned into a recovery mission
7when a helicopter crew spied their bodies at the bottom of a
8crevasse; and

9WHEREAS, Authorities reasoned that bad weather led the
10climbers to attempt to rappel down a cliff into camps lower down
11the mountain; and

12WHEREAS, Tragically, their climbing anchors failed to hold
13them, causing them to fall together more than 600 feet to their
14deaths; and

15WHEREAS, Recovery crews could not reach the men's bodies
16until the last week of February 2014 due to strong gales, bitter
17cold and stormy weather coupled with the rarely used route taken
18by the two climbers and the desire to put recovery crews in as
19little danger as possible; and

20WHEREAS, The unfortunate deaths occurred despite Mr. Keenan's
21and Mr. VonRueden's being experienced climbers; and

22WHEREAS, Mr. Keenan successfully summitted Mount Rainier,
23Mount Baker, Mount Adams and Mount Shuksan in the State of
24Washington; Mount Shasta in the State of California; Mount
25Cotopaxi, Mount Cayambe and Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador and
26Mount Orizaba in Mexico; and

27WHEREAS, Mr. VonRueden climbed Mount McKinley in the State of
28Alaska, scaled various peaks in Ecuador, backpacked in China and
29through the Grand Canyon and rode a bicycle from Wisconsin to
30Montana; and

1WHEREAS, Mr. Keenan was the son of Diane Lozinger-Keenan of
2Clarks Summit and the late James Keenan, and graduated in 2003
3from Abington Heights High School; and

4WHEREAS, During his high school years, Mr. Keenan earned
5membership in the National Honor Society and participated in
6Rotary Leadership Camp, National History Day regional and State
7competitions, Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War,
8National Geographic Society, National Academy of Science,
9marching band, student council and the Pennsylvania Gettysburg
10Monuments Project; and

11WHEREAS, Mr. Keenan's papers, as a part of his winning the
12National History Day national, State and regional competitions,
13focused on the military service of his family members, including
14his grandfather, Edmund Carr in World War II; his father, James
15Keenan in the United States Navy in the Philippines; and his
16uncle, James Carr, who served in the United States Marines in
17Vietnam; and

18WHEREAS, Mr. Keenan further wrote an essay about his
19grandfather's World War II experiences, which was published as
20part of Tom Brokaw's book, "Hometown Heroes"; and

21WHEREAS, Mr. Keenan received multiple honors, including a
22personal letter of invitation from Admiral William J. Crowe, to
23attend the National Youth Leadership Forum on Defense
24Intelligence and Diplomacy in Washington, D.C.; and

25WHEREAS, Mr. Keenan's interest and knowledge of history, as
26well as his intellect and his academic achievement in writing
27and research into the Civil War and participation in
28reenactments and in the Pennsylvania Gettysburg Monuments
29Project and other activities at the battlefield, prompted
30Representative Harry Readshaw to invite him to give a

1presentation about the Civil War; and

2WHEREAS, Mr. Keenan, who was 13 years of age at the time,
3spoke fluently and eloquently about the subject with no notes
4for five minutes, prompting the members of the House of
5Representatives to rise to a standing ovation; and

6WHEREAS, Mr. Keenan attended Johns Hopkins University
7studying sociology and psychology and planned to work as a guide
8for international mountain climbers; and

9WHEREAS, For years, Mr. Keenan trained every day at Brown's
10Gym in Clarks Summit and, as part of his training regimen, ran
11between 10 to 12 miles daily; and

12WHEREAS, The following family and loved ones survive Mr.
13Keenan: his mother, Diane Lozinger-Keenan, with whom he resided;
14two sisters, Candis Nesgoda of White Haven and Diane Carson of
15Scranton; brother, Jeffrey Lozinger of Clarks Summit; half-
16brothers, Jimmy, Tommy and Paul Keenan, all of New York; uncle,
17Edmund Carr, and his wife, Darlene, of Clarks Summit; aunt,
18Charlotte Boyle of Minnesota; nieces; nephews; cousins; and many
19friends and fellow climbers; and

20WHEREAS, The following family members preceded Mr. Keenan in
21death: his father, James Keenan and brother, John (Duke)
22Lozinger; maternal grandparents, Clara and Edmund Carr; aunt,
23Janet Howells; and uncle, James Carr; and

24WHEREAS, Mr. VonRueden recently began a career as an
25emergency medical technician and developed a passion for
26traveling after finishing high school in Watertown, Wisconsin;

28WHEREAS, Mr. VonRueden is survived by the following family
29members: parents, Peter and Renee VonRueden, both of Clyman,
30Wisconsin; and brother, Aaron VonRueden of Portage, Wisconsin;

1therefore be it

2RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives celebrate the
3lives of Francis James Keenan and Jarod VonRueden and express
4condolences to their families upon their untimely and tragic