James E. Keough Sr.

James E. Keough Sr.

James E. Keough Sr.

KNOX — James Keough of Knox — the state’s first K-9 Trooper — died peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Thursday, Nov. 12. He was 79.

He was the son of the late John and Isabel Keough and husband of the late Blanche (née Macejka) Keough. He grew up in Schenectady and graduated from Mont Pleasant High School in 1959.

After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he served in the 3rd Recon as a machine gunner for four years.

“After the Marine Corps, James served on the Capitol Police in Albany where he met his beautiful wife Blanche,” his family wrote in a tribute. “They were married for 27 years until her untimely passing in 1993.”

Mr. Keough had joined the State Police in June of 1965 and married in 1966. The Keoughs had four devoted children.

“He proudly served in the State Police for 34 years,” his family wrote. “Among his accomplishments in the State Police, he was most proud to be the first Trooper to be asked to be a K-9 handler. His dog Baretta became his faithful partner for many years.

“Jim and Baretta were at the 1980 Olympic games in Lake Placid, New York where they provided security for the athletes and attendees. They were also involved in many capers, arresting desperados for years. Jim loved the State Police and his experiences so much he wrote his book, ‘The First K-9 Trooper in the New York State Police,’ in 2015.

“Jim was a generous person to all who crossed his path especially his four children and his eight grandchildren.”


James E. Keough Sr. is survived by his four children, James (Heather), Colleen, John (Rebecca) and Erin Snyder (Neil). He is also survived by his eight grandchildren, Michael (Erin Denison), Matthew (Katarina Everhardt), Alex, Cassidy, Isabella, Johnny, Cooper, and Brynn.

His family also listed “his faithful K-9, Daisy,” and wrote, “Jimmy, Colleen, John, and Erin are happy to know that James and Blanche are finally reunited after so many years apart. Their love was one for the books.”

Calling hours are from 2 to 6 p.m. at Fredendall Funeral Home at 199 Main Street in Altamont. A funeral service will be held on Monday, Nov. 16, 11 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Church at 806 Union Street in Schenectady. Interment will follow at St. Cyril Cemetery at 611 Duanesburg Road in Schenectady.

Memorial contributions may be made to Signal 30, which supports the members of the New York State Police and their families in extraordinary circumstances such as death, illness, injury, and loss. Signal 30 also offers an extensive scholarship program to benefit the children of Troopers.

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