|Birth: ||Apr. 25, 1943|
|Death: ||Jun. 29, 2011|
Mr. Gary Clifford Keeling, former Bolivar High School girls' basketball coach, age 68, known as "Coach Keeling", of Bolivar, Missouri passed away at 11:14 AM Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at the Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar following a brave battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born on April 25, 1943 in Butterfield, MO the son of Clifford and Mildred (Pilant) Keeling.
Gary was a graduate of Joplin High School in 1961, Joplin Junior College in 1963, John Brown University in 1965 and Middle Tennessee State University in 1970.
On July 2, 1966 he was united in marriage to Jannis Bland in Neosho, MO. To this union four children were born.
Gary began his 35 year coaching career by spending 2 years in Pleasant Hope as the high school boys basketball coach. From Pleasant Hope, Gary enlisted in the United States Air Force. After serving 4 years Gary was honorably discharged in June 1971 as a staff sergeant. He resumed his coaching career at Jasper High School where he coached boys basketball and girls volleyball from 1971-1979. Gary was the boys basketball coach at Gravette, AR in 1980 and coached girls basketball and volleyball at Bolivar High School from 1984-2008.
Gary had an illustrious career in coaching in Arkansas and Missouri and was privileged to have had 585 wins in his career. In 2005, Gary was inducted into the Missouri Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. In 2007 he and his Lady Liberators placed 3rd in the Missouri Girls Class 4A State Tournament. And his final year of coaching in 2008 with his Lady Liberators became State Champions of the Missouri Girls Class 4A Tournament.
Gary touched many lives with his coaching, teaching and famous sense of humor. He was known as a special husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, coach and friend. He will be missed by many.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Bob and Larry Keeling and a niece Gayle Ann Keeling.
Surviving is his wife Jannis of 45 years. Two sons, Gary Keeling of St. Louis, MO; Robert Keeling and wife Lea Ann of Carthage, MO; Two daughters, Dawnmarie Petersen and husband Tommy of Halfway, MO; Brandi Keeling of Bolivar. Two Brothers Bill Keeling and wife Marti of Rogers, AR; John Keeling and wife Deb of San Antonio, TX. One sister, Janice Austin and husband Jim of Joplin, MO. Also his grandchildren, Cord, Layne, Jordan and Grayce Petersen and Matthew and Mallory Keeling and a host of nieces and nephews.
A Visitation will be held on Friday evening July 1, 2011 from 5-7 PM in the Butler Funeral Home Chapel
A Celebration of Gary's life will be held Saturday, July 2, 2011 at 10:00 AM at the First Baptist Church in Bolivar with Rev. Ray Leininger officiating. Musical selections will be "Amazing Grace" by Haley Toombs, "Light House" by Jerry Scott, and a congregational song of "Precious Memories". Casketbearers will be Todd Schrader, Gary Redford, Shawn Rowley, Jerry Scott, J. R. Collins, Stacy Wells, Darren Archer and Eric DeRossett. Burial will be in the Greenwood Cemetery in Bolivar under the care and direction of the Butler Funeral Home of Bolivar.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Keeling Foundation for Kids, % P.O.Box 48, Bolivar, MO 65613.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: GDS
Record added: Jun 29, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 72227420
Thanking you for your service to our Country and to our Freedom! SSGT US AIR FORCE -- VIETNAM--THE AIR FORCE CROSS|
Added: Oct. 13, 2013
Added: Jun. 29, 2011