Leo Keehan died on Tuesday, at 89. He was a lifelong Westporter, a 1947 Staples High School graduate — and a man with an intriguing connection to our town’s transportation history.
Leo owned 3 businesses here. One — Teddy’s Taxi — was located for years on the eastbound side of the Saugatuck train station.
It shared space with the local Avis rental agency — which he also owned.
Noticing growth in the number of trips to New York airports, he added a limo service: Teddy’s Limousine.
Leo’s son Kyle says, “Leo had many amazing and sometimes scandalous stories about famous people who rode in his fleet of vehicles. He had ‘Taxicab Confessions’ before HBO came up with the idea.”
In the 1970s, Westport was selected by the state government as an ideal town for an experimental local transportation system. In the first phase, Mercedes “minnybuses” followed fixed routes to and from the station, taking commuters to the train each morning and bringing them home at night.
In between, the buses ran routes connecting downtown with outer neighborhoods.
Inexpensive passes allowed Westporters to ride minnybuses without limits. Parents quickly realized the buses were cheap babysitters. They put their kids on, and waved goodbye, occupying them happily for hours.
The second phase — “maxi taxis” — was a van service. Several customers sharedrides to points around town.
Leo was recruited as president. Both programs ran successfully, until funding ran out.
Leo sold his businesses in his early 50s. Retirement lasted only a year. The family that purchased Teddy’s wanted his expertise to grow the business. Twenty-five years later he retired permanently from Teddy’s’ — a job he truly enjoyed.
Leo was a Korean War veteran, stationed in Germany. After returning to Westport he began working in the auto parts industry. He married Beverly Breault, daughter of Gilbert and Breault — original owners of Ye Olde Bridge Grill.
Leo lived at Compo Beach for more than 45 years. He loved the water, and sailing.
The Keehan family has been Westport residents for over a century. His sons Kyle and Scott both live in town, and hope to keep their family here for another 100 years.
A celebration of Leo’s life will be held on Friday (January 25, 10 a.m., St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, 1719 Post Road, Fairfield). In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project.