Callis Eugene Keeton of West Liberty, KY, passed away Friday, December 3, 2021 at Morgan County ARH, West Liberty, KY, at the age of 88 years, 7 months, and 7 days.
On April 26, 1933 John Tom and Gusta Swinney Keeton were blessed with a healthy, happy, baby boy, they named Callis Eugene Keeton. Callis was born into a farming family on Indian Creek, in Morgan County. John Tom and Gusta were blessed with a total of twelve children. The family worked hard to grow their farm, and produce everything they needed to take care of their children during, and after the depression. The family grew big tobacco crops, raised live stock, chickens, had a large apple orchard, and raised concord grapes.
Callis attended a one room school at the mouth of Indian Creek. Proud to have Mrs. Eva Elliott as his teacher. Mrs. Elliott taught children of every age in the little log school, up to eighth grade. At about the age of 15 Callis worked in a saw mill off of Rt. 172 supervised by his older brother Arnold. This experience gave Callis the training he needed to drive, and safely operate heavy equipment. With this knowledge, Callis was ready for the big city of Dayton, OH. He lived with his older sister Bertha, and her spouse Ed Gillespie. The opportunity for Callis to once again operate heavy equipment for a road company came to fruition. Callis’ older brothers Arnold and Albert Keeton were both active in World War II. This put the yearning in Callis to also go and serve his country, in the United States Marine Corp. (As the Korean Conflict was wrapping up, Callis did get stationed for a short term in Korea, but saw no combat.)
One beautiful summer day in 1952 on Pomp Road, a young Marine named Callis, spotted a beautiful teen named Ann riding her bike. He got her attention and tried to start a conversation, but once he caught a glimpse of her sparkling hazel eyes, and raven hair, he was so aw struck, the conversation ended quickly. Ann let him know she needed permission from her parents and older brothers to strike up a conversation with any male. Let lone such a handsome young Marine in uniform. After finally getting Ann's contact information and permission from her brother Bearl Jones, (also a young Marine) to correspond by mail she received an Easter card from Callis. Two and a half years later after a very strict courtship, the young couple became PFC Callis & Ann Jones Keeton. The union was performed by Pastor Robert McClure on November 8, 1954 in West Liberty witnessed by Mrs. McClure. Under the watchful eyes of Ann's mother Mrs. Johnnie (Nellie) Vance Jones.
Soon after, Callis was deployed to Okinawha Japan. 1 and a half years later in Jan. of 1957, he was shipped back to Camp LeJune NC. Ann met him in St. Louis MO and introduced him to his daughter Debra. Debra was already ten months old, and had two teeth. The young family headed out to their new duty station Camp Lejune. While still at Camp Lejune, in June of 1960, they became the proud beaming parents of a handsome black haired, dark eyed baby boy Johnie. The young family was complete and happy. Before the end of the year Callis deployed to the Bay of Pigs, leaving his family behind at Lejune. Upon the ending of the dispute off of our south eastern coast Callis returned home to his family.
The next many years shipped Callis around the world traveling to twelve countries. During this time, Ann and the children lived with her Mother (Nellie Jones). Ann suffered with serious health conditions making it necessary for her to be hospitalized; sometimes for nearly a year. Ann's Mother (now deceased), and brother Johnnie Jones of Hazel Green, sister Bobbie Jean of Knoxville TN, always stepped in as surrogate parents to Debra and John.
In 1969, Callis returned from being deployed to Vietnam in December 1967. In 1971, the family returned to Kentucky with Callis and Ann retiring from the Marine Corp. In 1972, he was hired by the Department of Transportation in Jackson KY. He retired once again after working for 19 years for the State of KY. At this time they bought a farm in Morgan County. They enjoyed a life of stability, peace, and quiet.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by five brothers, Arnold Keeton, Albert Keeton, Eldon Keeton, Clay Keeton, and Donnie Keeton; and five sisters, Lyda Belcher, Bertha Gillespie, Mattie Keeton, Berda Keeton, and Louise Burkhart.
Callis is survived by his loving wife, Ann Jones Keeton; one daughter, Debra K. Browning (Rick) of West Liberty, KY; one son, Johnie Keeton (Crystal) of West Liberty, KY; nine grandchildren, Joshua Browning (Ginger), Cody Ann Napier (Travis), Callie Lewis (Jason), Shana Moore, Jonathan Keeton (Amanda), Lisa Keeton (Lorenz Mims), Johnie Keeton (Kayla), Callis Keeton, DeAnn Keeton; eleven great grandchildren, Lennon Browning, Grace Browning, Carson Napier, Kennedy Lewis, Weston Lewis, Jaiden Moore, Raimee Moore, Jasmyne Keeton, Isla Mims, Sawyer Keeton, and Paisley Keeton; and a special nephew, Ronnie Keeton.
Funeral Service, 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, December 7, 2021 at the Broadway First Church of God, with Bro. Karl Elam officiating. Burial to follow in the Keeton Family Cemetery, Old Hwy 172, West Liberty, KY. Visitation 6 p.m., Monday, December 6, 2021, at the Broadway First Church of God. Potter Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Pallbearers: Josh Browning, Lennon Browning, Travis Napier, Carson Napier, Jason Lewis, and Weston Lewis.
Honorary Pallbearers: Johnny Jones, Rick Browning, Ronnie Keeton, Dewayne Fugett, Geraldo Santana, Brian Lord, and Zachary Stacy.
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