Don Virgil Keel

Don Virgil Keel

 Don Virgil Keel, son of Flora and Virgil Ogle Keel, was born at home on May 27, 1929 in Norton, Texas, the youngest of 2 brothers (Bill & Charles) and 1 sister (Vivian).  He grew up working with his family on farms across Texas until they moved to Comanche, Texas during his teen years.


It was there he met the love of his life, Betty Jean Nichols.  They attended Comanche High School until her graduation, and eloped on July 1, 1945 to Dublin Texas.  Betty was 17 and Don was 16.  They would have been married 76 years this last July 1st.  Betty passed in May 2019, leaving Don to mourn his precious wife.


They had 3 children, Gary, Kathy, and Johnette, lived in lots of places where Don worked in the oil fields of Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico for the first 13 years of their married life, until they moved to Fort Worth, Texas in 1958.


Don worked in lots of jobs while working hard to support a family of 5 – driving a delivery truck for Vandervoorts Dairy, working as a construction worker building apartments for the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and finally becoming a machinist while working at a small machine shop in southeast Fort Worth.  From there, he hired on at General Dynamics in their machine shop.  He worked for General Dynamics, Convair, and Lockheed, which later became Lockheed Martin for 25 years before retiring.  He was a machinist, supervisor, and a leader in the production of the F-16, traveling to Israel several times.


Don and Betty had a strong faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and raised their family within James Avenue & Travis Avenue Baptist Churches in Fort Worth.  Their family activities and friendships were strongly grounded within the church.


As their family grew, Don and Betty had more time for their dreams, and finally purchased an acre on Granbury Lake just outside of Acton, Texas.  Don had always wanted to build an underground home, thinking that it was so much more energy efficient than typical above-ground homes.  They began planning and researching and finally broke ground on their underground square dome home.  After several years, they completed and moved into their dream home where they lived for over 25 years.  They loved Granbury, Texas!


In their later years, they sold their home and moved to The Point at Waterview where they retired from doing their own cooking, cleaning their apartment, etc.  They loved living at The Point until Betty passed in 2019.  Don turned 90 shortly after.  He lived in The Courtyards in Granbury for the last 1.5 years.  Soon after moving there, COVID changed all our lives.  It was a difficult time.


Don had a fall and ended up in Lake Granbury Medical Center.  Although they took great care of him, Don’s health was failing, and he died as a result of COVID Pneumonia, and left to met his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.


Don had an extraordinarily strong faith and prayed for his family every day all his life.  He loved his Lord and told everyone he met about Him.


Don had become a Mason while living in Colorado and celebrated his 67th year as a Mason in 2021.


Don is survived by 3 children: Gary Don Keel & wife, Ann, 3 children, and 3 grandchildren; Ira Kathryn Swiecicki & husband, Bob, 2 children, 4 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren; Johnette Keel Williams & husband, Ted, 3 children and 12 grandchildren.


For those wanting to know about Don Virgil Keel, you can enter his name on U-Tube for his recorded version of his biography.


Visitation will be on Tuesday, July 20th at Wiley Funeral Home from 5-7 pm.  The funeral service will be held at Acton Baptist Church on Wednesday, July 21st at 11:00 am.  Interment will follow at Acton Cemetery.

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