The Town’s Public Ceremonies and Celebrations Committee is pleased to announce Jonathan M. Keyes as this year’s Honored Citizen and invites the public to join the committee, local/state officials, and fellow Concordians on Sunday, March 22nd at 2:00 p.m. in the Harvey Wheeler Center in honoring and congratulating Mr. Keyes. A brief ceremony will take place, followed by the serving of refreshments.
A proud Concord resident for his entire 85 years, Jonathan has served the town and many of its organizations/institutions since leaving his three years of active duty in the Navy as a Lieutenant in 1961. In 1961 he immediately became and continues to be a member of the Independent Battery. In 1972 he began serving on town committees, first on the Future School Sites Committee and the Deferred Tax Plan Study Committee, and then the Local Option Income Tax Committee, the NRC’s Trails Committee, and most recently as the chairman of the Tax Fairness Committee (2016-19).
Jonathan has also been a devoted and active supporter of five important Concord organizations/institutions: the Land Conservation Trust, the Concord Museum, the Old Manse, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial Association, and the Fenn School.
In the midst of raising his family and pursuing a career, which included building an investment banking firm, Jonathan served as a Trustee of the Fenn School from 1970 to 1976. He returned to serve on its inaugural Board of Visitors from 2002 to 2006.
His service to and support of the Concord Museum has spanned five decades – specifically serving on the Red House Committee in 1977, the Board of Governors (1986-93), the Investment Committee (1988-98), and the 1979 and 1995 Capital Campaign Committees.
From 1983 to 1991 Jonathan was the chair of the Old Manse Committee and helped establish the Friends of the Old Manse. Since 2000 he has served on the Board of the Emerson Memorial Association, the board that oversees the operations and maintenance of the Emerson House on Lexington Rd. and events at Harvard University.
In 2020 Jonathan enters his 29th year as a trustee of the Concord Land Conservation Trust, where he served as its Secretary for 26 years. Since 1992 he has been involved in every aspect of the Land Trust’s efforts to preserve the woods and fields of this community and thereby help preserve Concord’s rural look and feel as a traditional New England town. Among the hundreds of acres he has helped to preserve are Soutter’s Field and Hubbard Brook Land, Estabrook Woods, the Hallenbeck Land, Saw Mill Brook, the Garth Land, the Poutasse fields, the Gifford Land, the Corey-Bourquin Land, the Thornton and Ferguson Lands, the Tyler Land, the Rogers Land, the Balls Hill Rd. Land, and most recently the Emerson House Land. In 2002 he gave a 13-acre woodlot near Spencer Brook to the Land Trust to support the preservation efforts of the Spencer Brook valley.
Beyond Concord, Jonathan has devotedly served Mass Eye and Ear, Community Builders, and The Trustees of Reservations, playing a critical role in the passage of the Rivers Protection Act in 1996.
Jonathan and his late wife Judy raised their three children, Philip, Jared, and Herrika, at his Liberty St. home that has been in the Keyes family for 158 years. As a fixture at town meetings, League of Women Voters’ breakfasts, and Land Trust meetings, Jonathan continues to be a model citizen. His record of faithful service to the Town and its institutions make him deserving of the Town’s highest volunteer honor.
Since 1963 the Town of Concord has recognized a resident individual or couple, who are not a current elected official, for their significant, extensive, extended, and deep commitment of volunteer service to the Town and fellow citizens. The 2019 honoree was Di Clymer.
The press release can be viewed by clicking here.