Funeral services for Cecil Astor McKeever, 95, are scheduled for 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 24, 2009, in West Oaks Funeral Chapel in Sulphur Springs. Chaplain Curtis French will officiate with William McDowell, Esq. assisting. Burial will follow in the Union Community Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be the Roy and Yvonne King family. Honorary pallbearers will be W. D. Barnett, Buel Berry, Kenneth Ward, James T. McKeever, J. C. McLaughlin, Joe McLaughlin, members of Masonic Lodge 221 and the Radio Bible Class of First Baptist Church.
Visitation will be at West Oaks Funeral Home from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. prior to the service.
Mr. McKeever died Friday, February 20th, at Hopkins County Memorial Hospital. He was born July 7, 1913, in Hopkins County, to James Earl and Hattie Stone McKeever. He married Robbie Mace December 10, 1933. She preceded him in death on February 1, 2009. He was also preceded in death by his parents, his son, Cecil A. McKeever, Jr., one daughter, Sue Fields, three brothers Carl, Rayburn and Ernest McKeever and his sister, Lila Mae McLaughlin.
Survivors include one daughter, Peggy Montgomery and husband James R. of Richardson, four grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson. They are Sheila Fields Reece, husband Mark, and their daughters Samantha and Macey of Honey Grove, Alan Fields, his wife Melanie and their triplets, Alexander, Abigail and Madelyn of Greenville, Marilyn Fields Sebade, her husband Kevin and their sons, Matthew and Lucas of Lindsay, and Lisa Housewright White of Richardson and her daughters, Ericka White of Dallas and Danielle McKee, her husband Aaron and son Carter of Fort Bragg, N.C.
Mr. McKeever worked in the shipyards on the Texas Gulf Coast during World War II, and returned to the land he loved in the Union Community where his ancestors and had settled in the early 1800’s. Together, he and Robbie built and operated one of the early Grade-A dairy farms in Hopkins County. They later were among the first producers of registered Black Angus cattle in Northeast Texas. He was an expert carpenter and had remarkable mechanical aptitude. He retired from Ling-Temco-Vought in 1975.
Astor and Robbie were blessed with over 75 years together. Their love for each other, as well as for their family and friends, was one seldom experienced or witnessed. They spent their retirement years traveling, small and big game hunting, RVing, participating in church and civic activities, and socializing with the many friends they had in Hopkins County and the ones they cultivated in their travels.
Mr. McKeever was a member of First Baptist Church, Sulphur Springs, and past president of the Radio Bible Class. He faithfully served his Lord and Savior and touched the lives of many over the years. He never sought the limelight nor did he broadcast his positive and uplifting involvement in people’s lives. He saw a need and tried to fill it. He heard a cry and responded. He reached out and grasped one’s hand in his, offering what he knew best - the simple message, glory and power of a loving and forgiving Savior. He was a quick-witted and gracious gentleman, gifted with insightful wisdom and acute discernment. If you ever had the privilege of being a recipient of his wise and loving counsel, you will have done well if you heeded it.
Mr. McKeever, a Master Mason for over 50 years, served as Worshipful Master of Sulphur Springs Lodge No. 221, A.F. & A.M., in 1973-74 and as Chaplain for 15 years. He was an Endowed Member and served the Grand Lodge of Texas as District Deputy Grand Master of District 7 at one time in his Masonic career. He also served in many leadership roles in other Masonic related organizations. He was a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason, a member of the Order of Eastern Star and a Shrine Mason belonging in the Valley of Dallas, Orient of Texas.
Memorials may be made to the Union Cemetery Association, c/o Sheila Funderburk, 157 CR 1213, Sulphur Springs, TX 75482, the Radio & TV Ministry, First Baptist Church, 116 Oak Avenue, Sulphur Springs, or to the Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, 2222 Welborn, Dallas, TX 75219.
Arrangements are under the direction of West Oaks Funeral Home.
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