Cathy Keating is a fourth generation Oklahoman who was born and raised in Tulsa. She has focused much of her energy in her life on community service, most prominently while she was First Lady of Oklahoma, 1995 – 2003. After the Oklahoma City Bombing on April 19, 1995, she organized and implemented the International Prayer Service and subsequently spent much of her energy helping those who were affected by the bombing heal. Keating authored a book, In Their Name, which was on the New York Times bestseller list, with all proceeds going to project recovery.
Additionally, she founded Friends of the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion, Septemberfest and the Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony as well as started the tradition of an Oklahoma Christmas tree ornament. She also raised private dollars to build the Phillip’s Pavilion on the grounds of the mansion. Keating conceived and implemented a grounds management program in partnership with Career Tech for female inmates to teach them a marketable job skill upon their release. Keating renovated and permanently furnished the Governor’s Mansion and the Phillips Pavilion and authored books Our Governor’s Mansions and Ooh La La: Cuisine Presented in a Stately Manner, with all proceeds going to that cause.
Keating’s previous and current board services include Habitat for Humanity International Women’s Build, the National Trust, Oklahoma City National Memorial, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, where she co-founded the Annie Oakley Society, the Oklahoma American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., the Oklahoma City Salvation Army, Oklahoma City Family Justice Center, National Advisory Board for American Mothers, Inc., Cristo Rey, and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
Keating is also the chairman of the philanthropy of Express Employment Professionals and the Expressions of Hope Foundation.
Among her honors, she is the recipient of the Thoroughbred Award for the David and Sybil Yurman Foundation, the William Booth Award, Tom Brokaw’s “People of the Week” honor, National Champion for Children Award and Outstanding Southerner in Southern Living Magazine. Cathy Keating is the recipient of the 2018 Kirkpatrick-Petree Music and Performing Arts Society Awards by Oklahoma City University. She has been inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and the Tulsa Hall of Fame.
She and her husband Frank have three children and eleven grandchildren.