LACKAWANNA COUNTY — Frank Keenan was 28-years-old when he died on an Argentinian mountain in January.
A graduate of Abington Heights High School, his family said he was a bright guy who just loved to climb mountains.
“As a kid he was a computer geek because he was so smart, and he followed through with his schooling. He was always tops in his class, but he turned out to be this rugged mountain climber, and he sure surprised everyone in the family,” said Edmund Carr, Keenan’s uncle.
In January, Keenan’s family got the devastating news.
Frank Keenan and his climbing partner, Jarod Von Rueden from Wisconsin, died after falling during a climb.
That mountain in Argentina, Mount Aconcagua, is the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere.
Keenan’s family was heartbroken.
What made it worse was the news that Keenan and Von Rueden’s families were responsible for recovering the bodies on that steep mountainside.
Together, they hired a paralegal in Argentina to do all the necessary paperwork, a company with a plane, a helicopter, and recovery team to go in and pull the two out.
“We had to pay for all that, and it was very, very expensive, but we could not leave him up there on that mountain,” said Carr.
Carr traveled to Argentina and identified Keenan’s body and made the complicated arrangements to have the body returned to the United States.
It has been an exhausting few months.
Carr said the entire family is ready for closure.
“Once he gets back here and we have the service for him, I think the closure is what we all need right now,” said Carr.