Sandra Carole Keenan, 81, of Gauley Bridge, passed away July 27, 2022 at CAMC Memorial Hospice Care, Charleston, following a short illness.
Born Feb. 26, 1941 at home, she was the daughter of the late Russell Laverne Keenan and Grace Genevieve Copeland Keenan of Keenan Branch, Nicholas County.
She also was preceded in death by her husband of 40 years, Rev. Claude E. Keenan; brothers, Edward Paul Keenan, Russell Laverne Keenan Jr., Robert Allen Keenan, William Gerald Keenan and an infant brother; sister, Mary Keenan Nichols; brothers-in-law, Charles Keenan (Virginia), Carl Nichols, Earl Kincaid (Ruby), Robert Keenan (Martha), Andrew “Dutch” Keenan (Alice), Cecil Keenan (Louise) and Landis Keenan; and sisters-in-law, Ethel Holliday (Bob), Ruby Grose (Mansel Grose Sr.), Carol Carson (Frank), Lucille Blankenship (Hiram), Grace Spicer (Carlton Sr.), Margaret Evans (Jim), Mabel Vance (Charles) and Georgia Mae Poe (Clay).
A 1959 graduate of Nicholas County High School, Carole attended Alderson-Broaddus College and West Virginia Tech to study nursing. She became a mother at an early age and didn’t continue her formal education, although she served as a nurse and all the other jobs performed by the best mothers for each of her children. She was a teacher, a chef, a PTA mother and a never-wavering support system for her six children, a storyteller, a Sunday school teacher, a lovely singer, a rock for her siblings, a seamstress and a godly role model not only for her own children, but for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as all their friends.
Best of all, she was a prayer warrior, approaching the Lord in intercessory prayer for all who needed help, and a woman who, more than once, literally gave the last food in her pantry to someone in need.
She was a pastor’s wife who supported her husband in his ministry in churches across Fayette, Nicholas, Clay and Kanawha counties.
Besides the Bible, she also loved novels and history, nurturing a love of reading and learning in her family, as well as those for whom she babysat. She also was a carer for several elderly friends and neighbors over the years.
She enjoyed needlepoint, working crossword and jigsaw puzzles, cooking for others, music and dancing, spending time in nature and later, when that was hard on her, watching nature websites from Africa and local eagle cams, traveling and playing some rousing games of Scrabble, Rook, Uno, Canasta and Tripoley.
She was a member of Swiss Missionary Baptist Church where she had taught primary, junior high and adult Sunday school classes and was a member of various church quartets and choirs.
In her later years, she also served as a typist and assistant for The Montgomery Herald and The Fayette Tribune newspapers. She loved spending time with all her family, especially on trips to the Outer Banks.
Surviving: sisters, Lynne Nichols of Cross Lanes and Kay (Frank) Quifunas of New Castle, Delaware; children, Cheryl Keenan of Gauley Bridge, Steve Keenan of Gauley Bridge, Cara (Jeff) Moore of Friendly, Darla Keenan of Gauley Bridge, Paul Elmo (Becky) Keenan of Orrtanna, Pennsylvania and Tim (Jeannette) Keenan of Ashland, Kentucky; grandchildren, Rachel (Ammon) Ash of Marietta, Ohio, Samantha Moore (Allen Potts) of Middlebourne, Matthias Dotson of Friendly, Aaron (Jamie Fox) Dotson of Middlebourne, Stephanie Ayers (Kyle) of Martinsburg, Alannah Hall of Ashland, Finnegan and Simon Keenan of Orrtanna and Harper Keenan of Ashland; great-grandchildren, Addy Ash of Marietta, Riley and Kailee Campbell of Middlebourne, Arabella Potts of Middlebourne, Monroe Ash of Marietta, Anastasia Potts of Middlebourne, Esme Ayers of Martinsburg and Carson Taylor Burkhart of Ashland; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews and great-great-nieces and nephews, all whom she loved dearly; as well as her church family and an uncountable number of family members of the heart.
Her fondest wish was for all her loved ones to accept the Lord and join her in Heaven. At her request, Carole was cremated and, instead of a traditional wake, she requested a party in her honor. It will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Gateway Center in Smithers (the old Valley Elementary School). A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21 at Swiss Missionary Baptist Church, Swiss.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Swiss Missionary Baptist Church, PO Box 357, Gauley Bridge, WV 25085 (please note In Memory of Carole Keenan); or to the New River Humane Society, 513 Shelter Road, Fayetteville, WV 25840.
Cards of condolence to the family may be mailed to Keenans, PO Box 357, Gauley Bridge, WV 25085; or online condolences may be made at www.leonardjohnsonfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements by Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet.