Funeral services for Mr. Robert Jewel "R.J." Keith Jr., 82, of Jefferson will be 2:00 P.M. Sunday January 20, 2019 in the Capt. Wm. Perry Chapel of Haggard Funeral Home with Bro. Tony Harp and Bro. Robert Earl Keith officiating. Interment will follow in Prospect Cemetery under the direction of Haggard Funeral Home. Visitation will begin at 1:00 P.M. until service time.
Mr. Keith was born August 11, 1936 in Farris, OK. to Robert Jewel and Martha Wilmon Keith, and passed away January 18, 2019 in Jefferson. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Virginia Tolleson, sister, Majol Dean Jetton, brother, Dow Keith and brother Clayton Keith.
He was born in a saw mill camp and spent most of his childhood years traveling with his parents and siblings around the country to different saw mill locations before settling in Jefferson. He graduated from Jefferson High School in 1954. After graduation he married his wife of 60 years, Joann Carwile.
Mr. Keith began his career working as an oilfield roughneck, often as a derrickhand where he learned the importance of good balance. He eventually joined SWEPCO, serving as a pumper at the Lieberman plant (Mooringsport, LA) and as a coal yard heavy equipment operator at the Welsh plant (Cason, TX) before retiring in 1994.
Mr. Keith was resourceful at fixing problems and was a firm believer that many could be handled with a handkerchief, pocket knife, clamp and duct tape.
He loved his family dearly and valued investing his time and energy into his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Some of his fondest memories were of coaching and teaching his sons and their friends through Little League, Dixie League and his church's Royal Ambassadors program. He rarely missed any of his children's or grandchildren's events. He took his role of earthly father seriously: lovingly disciplining, selflessly serving, demonstrating humility and encouraging those around him to never give up or lose hope in a situation. He was a fun-loving man who enjoyed weathering the ups and downs of life while laughing and making others laugh. At different stages of his life he particularly enjoyed hunting, camping, traveling and working with cattle and horses. He enjoyed attending and reading about sporting teams and events, especially the Jefferson Bulldogs.
Mr. Keith was a longtime member of New Prospect Baptist Church of Jefferson.
Survivors include his wife Joann Keith, children, Rodney Keith of Jefferson, Randy Keith of Jefferson, and Kyle Keith & wife Pam of Longview, TX, grandchildren, Joshua Keith, Courtney Keith Hallonquist and husband Justin and Kade Keith. great grandchildren Kennedi Keith and Jon Cutter Hallonquist, and a number of nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers include: Ricky Cooner, Justin Hallonquist, Joshua Keith, Kade Keith, Tracy Kirkland, Kim McGee, Dale Reeves and Mike Wood.
Honorary Pallbearers: Jon Cutter Hallonquist, Buddy Rich, Jerry Steelman, Byron Waldrop & the Jefferson High School Class of 1954.