Grace Justice Keen

Published 5:36 pm Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Grace Justice Keen was born Aug. 29, 1926 in Mecklenburg County, and passed away surrounded by family on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, in Isle of Wight County. 

Mrs. Keen is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 71 years, Carroll Edward Keen Sr. (Pete); her parents, James A. and Lillian M. Justice; and sister, Annie Laurie Justice. Mrs. Keen is survived by a son, Carroll E. Keen Jr. (Dianna); three daughters, Brenda Vaughan (Joe), Carolyn Keen (Michael Farmer) and Ruth Austin (Steve); three grandsons, Walter Vaughan (Ashley), Chris Vaughan (Gannaeya) and William Austin (Elizabeth); step grandson, Marshall Blevins; and five great-grandchildren, Olivia, Lillian, Josey, Christian and Aaron.

Mrs. Keen lived in Isle of Wight County for more than 50 years and was a retired real estate broker. Her mind was a fountain of ideas for the beautification and development of the county. She was a master at bringing residents together to make good things happen. She was the driving force behind the establishment of the Isle of Wight Citizens Association in 1978 and remained its president for 39 years. She chaired the Isle of Wight County Beautification Committee, which planted crepe myrtle trees in public places across the county. Mrs. Keen received an Arbor Day Foundation Award for the Plant a Tree for a Child Program and traveled to Nebraska to accept the award at the April 2004 Foundation ceremonies. In 2015, she was recognized for her work on the Isle of Wight County Commission on Aging for over 30 years.

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Grace was a visionary and activist. In June of 2012 she was honored by receiving the Grace Keen Distinguished Community Service award from the Isle of Wight–Smithfield–Windsor Chamber of Commerce and the Isle of Wight County Department of Economic Development, which recognizes individuals who have contributed in extraordinary ways to the business, civic, social, educational or cultural climate of Isle of Wight County.

Graveside services will be conducted at St. Luke’s Memorial Park Cemetery on Benn’s Church Boulevard Saturday, Feb. 10 at 11 a.m. with Pastor William McCarty officiating.

Following the service, there will be a gathering of family and friends at Healing Waters Worship Center, 12172 Smith’s Neck Road, Carrollton.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Western Tidewater Free Clinic, 2019 Meade Parkway, Suffolk, VA 23434.