Born in Georgia, Jean C. Keating finished her undergraduate degree five
months after her twentieth birthday and moved to Virginia to join a budding
federal agency called the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
[NASA] as one of its first female aeronautical engineers. In time she coauthored
numerous NASA technical reports, incomprehensible to the untutored reader,
but representing substantial work, including the determination of four
star positions to greater accuracies than previously known. She received
the NASA Special Service Award for her contributions. She combined professional
efforts with community service, serving two terms as President of the Hampton
Junior Woman's Club, one term as President of the Junior Council of Presidents,
and four years as State Leadership Development Chairman for the Virginia
Federation of Women's Clubs. In 1970 her professional and civic efforts
led to her being chosen as Virginia's Outstanding Young Woman of the year,
as one of the 10 most outstanding young women in the United States, and
resulted in a presidential letter of commendation.
She left NASA determined to enjoy a new home in Williamsburg, only to discover
the need for more challenges once the home was decorated. She joined the
staff of the College of William and Mary as its first Director of Special
Programs and then Assistant Director of Institutional Research. In 1978
she accepted a position with the State Council of Higher Education [SCHEV]
in Richmond as Research Coordinator, collecting, analyzing and reporting
on the operations of the 87 institutions of higher education in Virginia
In 1982 she began raising and showing a tiny breed of dog called a Papillon.
Today she shares her life with 14 Papillons ranging in age from four months
to 16 years. Along the way, two kittens abandoned during Hurricane Hugo
joined the family.
In 35 years of government service, she completed her graduate work and
authored more than 50 scientific and data management reports and studies.
She retired in June of 1998 and turned her attention to fulfilling another
dream, writing and publishing fiction. She formed her own publishing company,
drawing its name, Astra, from the kennel prefix under which she has bred
and shown Papillons for 21 years. Her first published novel, Amorous Accident,
was named for her first, home bred champion.
Today she combines work on her third book with service as President of
the Chesapeake Bay Writers Club, and writes a monthly column entitled Rescue
Corner for the national magazine of the Papillon Club of America. She writes
a monthly column for Chesapeake Style which appears under Animal Antics.