Pierce County corrections officers honored the memory of one of their former coworkers Friday with a graduation gift to his daughter.
The gift of $4,600 was presented to Sarah McKeown during an event Friday afternoon at the Pierce County Jail.
McKeown’s father, 38-year-old Tom McKeown, died in a fishing accident on the Nisqually River in September 2004. He’d been among about 10 fishermen casting along the bank when he stepped off a hidden drop-off near the center of the river. His waders apparently filled with water, pulling him under.
At the time, Sarah was 13. She said she would “make her father proud,” according to corrections officers.
Here’s a write up about the graduation gift from Pierce County corrections Capt. Martha Karr:
The generous staff of Pierce County Corrections raised a total of $4,600.00 for Sarah’s graduation gift! This was truly a remarkable show of compassion and support for this young lady. When Corrections Officer Tom McKeown died in his fishing accident in 2004, Sarah at age 13 gave an emotional speech that she would “make her father proud”. She accomplished this with graduating with honors, being the schools ASB President, and being accepted at Georgetown University.
She will be arriving this Friday at noon with her mother Sun Ho. We will be hosting a ceremony in the main jail staff dining at noon to present the graduation gift and enjoy cake and coffee. They will then be given a tour of the jail to see where Sarah’s father and Sun Ho’s husband Tom worked and to meet many of his past co-workers.