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Fred Austin Keels
09/18/1928 — 12/04/2023
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1632 George Washington Way, Richland, WA 99354
Fred Austin Keels
Fred Austin Keels, 95, passed away peacefully on December 4th, 2023. He was a resident of the Tri-City area for 52 years and most recently living in Port Orchard for the last 8 months. Fred was born on September 18, 1928 in Dellwood, Florida. He was the 9th child out of 15 and spent his younger years helping his father who was a share cropper and Baptist preacher. Fred had many jobs in his lifetime but he retired as an Iron Worker from Hanford Nuclear Project. Fred fulfilled his calling and became an ordained preacher in 1995.
At the age of 16, Fred lied about his age and joined the U.S. Navy to fight in World War II. While in the Navy, Fred met a lovely woman named June whom he married and shared his life with for 65 years. They had 3 children together along with 6 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren whom he loved and adored. Whenever he could, he would tell all about his adventures like stealing eggs, crossing the equator, wrestling pigs, or getting into the bees to get honey. Fred had many hobbies over his lifetime which included showing and driving his Hackney pony, traveling in his motorhome, woodworking, remodeling homes for resale, preaching and spending time with his family. Fred was a man of integrity, honesty and led by example. He loved with his whole heart, always had a smile and was the kindest soul you would meet.
He is survived by his daughter Debora L. Futch (spouse Robert) from Port Orchard, WA. Grandchildren Randall A. Keels of Tehachapi, CA; Darby K. Keels of Eugene, OR; Calaressa C. Jones of Port Orchard, WA; Candice Dickerson of Echo, OR; and Robert C. Futch II of Port Orchard, WA. Great-grandchildren Elijah F. Garcilazo of Eugene, OR; Aaron R. Futch of Kennewick, WA; Tyler A. Futch of Kennewick, WA; Audis A. Jones of Port Orchard, WA; and Caitlynn J. Cisco of Echo, OR.
Fred was preceded in death by his wife June Keels, sons Fred A. Keels, Jr. and David Keels, grandson Zane A. Keels and his great grandson Blake Dickerson.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 16, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at Richland Baptists Church, 1632 George Washington Way, Richland, WA 98352. A celebration of life immediately following at the church. Burial to follow at 2:00 p.m. at Sunset Memorial Gardens, 915 Bypass Hwy, Richland Washington.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation to Fred’s childhood church. New Hope Free Will Baptist Church, 3200 Hwy 69, Grand Ridge, FL 32442.
Rest in Peace Fred , You and June are together again. Condolences to the family