Our daddy passed gently in his sleep on Thursday morning, January 17, 2019, at The Davis Community in Wilmington NC.
He was born on December 20, 1930, in Pensacola Florida the son of Rupert A. Keene and Hazel L. Grieshiemer.
Our dad loved and honored his country with 20 years of service in the Navy from 1948 becoming a dedicated Hospital and Field Corpsman receiving a Bronze Star on National Defense until his retirement in 1967. After his retirement, he moved his family from Jacksonville Florida to Wilmington NC where he was employed by Fountain Oil Co, along with Stewart Sandwich Co. until he married his late wife Christine Thompson Keene where he co-owned with her, Keene’s Motor Lodge in Richlands NC. Our dad also devoted himself as an Ancient Free & Accepted Mason in Richlands Lodge 564 where he was Past Master, 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and served as secretary for over 25 years.
He was preceded in death by his wife Christine Thompson Keene of Richlands NC, his brother Charles Keene of Richmond VA, stepson Gilbert Thompson, three grandsons, John Byrd, Gabriel Willetts, and Kevin Thompson, all of whom he loved dearly.
Our daddy loved his girls with soft discipline, humor, and fun teaching us all he knew to help us through life. If you had a chance to meet him you became fast friends and would be in awe at how nice of a man he was and would never forget him. He was a giving person who loved to help a variety of charities such as Smile Train, St Jude’s, and many others.
He is survived by his daughters, Judy C. Johnson and husband Dick of La Jolla CA, Bobbie L. Keene of San Diego CA, Katherine S. Willetts and Husband Carl of Wilmington NC, Karen J. Williams and fiance Pete Newton of Wilmington NC, along with their Mother Verna Mae Powell of Wilmington NC and his precious Granddaughter Taylor S. Johnson of San Diego CA.
The family wishes to thank with all our hearts his wonderful caring friends Gail & Gary Morton and their mother Lois who made it possible for our dad to be able to stay in his home in Richlands far longer than what was expected, a gift he so much appreciated. Jeannette Willaford one of his sweetest friends. Also, Love to Julie and Christeen at Hagan & Albano Podiatrists who showed him what caring for a patient is all about by visiting him from Jacksonville for his birthday. The Davis Community in Wilmington where the wonderful Breakers household fell in love with him and showed him and his family just how much they cared. He spent his last Thanksgiving, Birthday and Christmas with the Breakers household where they made his last days the sweetest ever! We love you all!
Thank you all for the visits, phone calls and, all of Daddy’s Thanksgiving, Birthday and Christmas cards and especially your love.
The memorial service plans are pending.
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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910-791-9099