Herbert Ray McKeel

Published 10:55 pm Friday, July 13, 2018

CARROLLTON — Herbert Ray McKeel, 78, passed away Thursday, July 12, 2018, after a courageous battle with cancer.  Born in Stantonsburg, N.C., Ray was the son of the late Mary Varnell and James Thomas McKeel.  He is also preceded in death by siblings, Alice Holland, Louise Bell, Kinchen McKeel, Charles McKeel, Eugene McKeel, Frederick McKeel; son, James McKeel; and granddaughter, Madison Livesay.

A beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Ray leaves to cherish his memory his wife of 60 years, Nancy J. McKeel; two daughters, Arlene Murphy and Mary Jo Berryman (J.C.) of Dendron; grandchildren, Tiffany Livesay (Shawn), Jeremy Marks, Chad McCampbell, and Derek Davis (Ellen); great-grandchildren, Ayden Marks, Logan Livesay, Paige Marks, Bryson Livesay, Paisley Davis and soon to be born, Rhett Davis; sisters, Ruby Taylor and Reta Chase of N.C.; and a host of nieces and nephews and extended family.

Ray retired as battalion chief of the Newport News Fire Department in 1989 after more than30 years of service.  He then worked a number of years at Craft Mechanical.  In retirement, he was an avid gardener, and an avid sports fan of major league baseball and college basketball.  Herbert was passionate about his family and enjoyed every minute he was able to spend with them.  He will also be sorely missed by his canine companion, Duke.

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A service celebrating Herbert’s life will be held Sunday, July 15, 2 p.m. in Sturtevant Funeral Home, Bennett’s Creek Chapel, 2690 Bridge Rd., Suffolk, with the Rev. Ray Rowland officiating.   Burial will follow the service in Bacon’s Castle, “Old Brick Church” Cemetery in Surry County.  Family and friends will gather Saturday, July 14, 6-8 p.m. in the funeral home for visitation.

The family suggests memorial contributions to Carrollton Volunteer Fire Dept., PO Box 77, Carrollton, VA  23314.

Condolences and remembrances are encouraged online at www.SturtevantFuneralHome.com