Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10
Claude Henry Keever, Jr., age 88, 165 Madison Street, Erwin, passed away at 3:00 a.m. Monday, January 27, 2014, at the Center on Aging and Health in Erwin.
He was the son of the late Claude and Myrtle Bennett Keever and was a life long resident of Erwin.
After high school, Claude served in the US Navy from 1943-46. He attended boot camp at the US Navy Training School in San Diego, CA with training in Landing Craft School. Upon completion, he was an LCT boat navigator. During his deployment, his tour in the Pacific Theatre took him as far away as the Mariana Islands, including Guam and Saipan. His commitment to service earned him the Asiatic Pacific Ribbon with One Star, along with the World War II Victory Medal.
With an honorable discharge at the end of WWII, Claude returned home and found employment at Southern Pottery for several years. He married Betty Ellen Goodin in 1950, and became a father with son Stephen in 1951. He began a career in education in 1959 that would eventually span 24 years. His classroom tally began with a stint at Coffee Ridge Elementary School, and in 1961, he and Betty had another son, Sam. Claude then enjoyed a run at Limestone Cove Elementary School, and then it was on to Love Street Elementary School until 1970. He accepted the reins of principalship at Flag Pond Elementary School, and continued his studies to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from ETSU in 1973. He continued to juggle the duties of principal, teacher, coach, field-trip coordinator and much more, until his retirement in 1983.
Claude now began to pursue his hobby of golfing to the fullest measure. He had developed a passion for the game during his teaching years, enjoying local pro-ams, tourneys, and most every course from Newland, NC to Knoxville, TN. He was a longtime member at Buffalo Valley Golf Course and then joined the Tri-Cities Senior Golf League, and teed it up over the years with just too many great golfing buddies to remember: Lee Vance, Doug White, Zane Whitson, Emmett Hampton, Jack Ingle, Jack Metcalf, Sonny Padgett, Sonny Brotherton .the list is endless.
As he now sets a tee time with the Lord, be aware the skies are forever blue and theres no frost on the green. The breezes are always with him, as the draws are just slight enough. He thanks you all for the sportsmanship and comrade.
The family of Claude Keever would like to thank the Surgeon team and the GI team at Johnson City Medical Center for your effort. We all knew his conditions were complicated, as he weathered the storm the best he could. Also, an especially sincere thanks to the Nursing staff and assistants at 5300 floor, the ICU staff at 2900, and all the staff at the Center on Aging in Erwin. Your compassion and level of caring attention was simply unmatched. You know who you are and God bless you all.
Other than parents, he was preceded in death by his step father, Hugh A. Johnson.
Mr. Keever is survived by his former wife, Betty Goodin Keever, Erwin; two sons: Stephen Lee Keever, Chattanooga and Samuel Brian Keever, Erwin; two brothers: Howard “Joe” Keever, Florida, Glen Keever and wife, Betty, Johnson City; a sister, Audrey Bowman, Johnson City.
Several nieces and nephews also survive.
Funeral service will be held at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, January 30, 2014, from the Robert Ledford Funeral Home Chapel. Reverend Charles E. “Sonny” Brotherton will officiate. Family and friends will serve as active pallbearers.
The family will receive friends prior to the service between the hours of 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Thursday.
Interment will follow the visitation and service in Evergreen Cemetery with military honors provided by Boone Dam VFW Post # 4933 and the United States Naval Honor Guard.
Online condolences, photos and memories may be shared with the Keever family through our complimentary, interactive Book of Memories at www.ledfordfuneralhomes.com.
Robert Ledford Funeral Home & Chapel, 720 Ohio Avenue, Erwin, is privileged to serve the Keever family. (423) 743-1380.