Jean Keene, widely known as the Homer "Eagle Lady," shared her love and knowledge of eagles with visitors before she passed away January 13, 2009. She was 85. In 1977 Keene relocated from Aitkin, Minnesota to Homer, where she lived in a motorhome parked within a small enclosure, in the middle of a campground near the outer end of the Spit.
Soon after her arrival, while employed at a seafood plant, Jean was given permission to gather surplus and freezer burned fish for a pair of eagles wintering near her home. Ten years later, more than 200 eagles were gathering by her home from late December through mid-April. To feed 200-300 eagles, Jean loaded about 500 pounds of fish and fish scraps into barrels and then into her pickup for the short drive home. She then chopped the fish into smaller chunks, making them easier for the eagles to carry. She was known around the world for her generosity and efforts to care for the Homer eagles. Now one of the best places to see eagles is near the fish cleaning stations flanking the harbor where fishermen tend to leave the remains of their catches and the eagles are happy to dine on them.
Even though she has been dead for over three years, locals remember her fondly. One mentioned the fact that someone brought her fresh raspberries every summer from which she made jam to give away.