James Malcom Keen

November 1, 1923November 28, 2019

James M. Keen, 96 of Normal passed away at his residence surrounded by his family. He was born November 1, 1923 to Malcom and Hazel (Minteer) Keen in Guthrie, OK. He married L. Marguerite Roderick on July 11, 1943 in Bloomington, IL. She passed away July 31, 2010. James is survived by his children Leanah (James) Litwiller, Nancy (Michael) Rimshas, Charlene Carlson, Kelly Keen, Julienne Lingle, Judy Rohde, Leslie Singh, Jacalyn Starnes, and Kelly Stone; twelve grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, one brother, one sister, son Daniel Keen, and daughter-in-law Judy Keen. James was the owner and operator of Keen Tile, Inc. until his retirement. James joined the Merchant Marines in 1945 during the 2nd World War. He was a highly skilled radio operator on tanker ships. He and his wife loved to fish whenever they had the opportunity. He built Keen Tile, Inc., a wholesale tile business, on prayer, fulfilling a dream. James didn’t know a stranger. He could begin a conversation with anyone, finding common interests, sharing his war experiences, or his love for helping others. He lived his faith in Jesus Christ from day to day unashamedly. His capacity for love was unlimited, so he kept adding more daughters over the years, seeing a spiritual, financial, or family need in their lives and trying to help fulfill it. He was a loving husband, son, father, father-in-law, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Visitation will be Monday December 2, 2019 1:00-3:00 p.m. at East Lawn Funeral Home. Funeral service to follow. There will be a private family entombment at East Lawn Memorial Garden Mausoleum. Memorial contributions may be made in James’s honor to Freedom Baptist Church: Building Fund or Wounded Warrior Project: P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516. Online condolences may be left for the family at


  • L. Marguerite Roderick, Spouse
  • Malcom Keen, Father
  • Hazel Minteer Keen, Mother
  • Leanah (James) Litwiller, Daughter
  • Nancy (Michael) Rimshas, Daughter
  • Charlene Carlson, Daughter
  • Kelly Keen, Daughter
  • Julienne Lingle, Daughter
  • Judy Rohde, Daughter
  • Leslie Singh, Daughter
  • Jacalyn Starnes, Daughter
  • Kelly Stone, Daughter
  • Daniel (Judy) Keen, Son


  • Visitation Monday, December 2, 2019
  • Funeral Service Monday, December 2, 2019


James Malcom Keen

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Cyndi Leach

December 2, 2019

If ever I had a Head Cheerleader in my life, it would've been my Uncle Jim. He always encouraged me and made every accomplishment in my life a Big Deal. Because of that I could hardly stand it till I could see his face when I would break the news. My favorite is when I walked from my house to theirs (about two blocks) and up their steep driveway, which when I drive by now, it looks like barely a hill) and knocked on the backdoor and went in. He said "Where's your mom?" I said I walked up here by myself. You would've thought it was Christmas, the celebration that followed. I'll never forget it.

Janet Cline

December 2, 2019

He was more like a father to me since my Dad died when I was 5. No one could have loved him more. He was my Uncle, my father, and my best friend. He helped me thru some tough times. I used to call him every 2 weeks and we would have wonderful conversations. I am going to miss those talks. I love you very much UNCLE JIM.

Rick & Nancy Jackson

December 1, 2019

Jim was a wonderful friend and more family than not. Memories of Jim and Margie go back a long way and their love for Christ and people was evident in everything they did. Jim had time and a listening ear for everyone. He never met a stranger and was never at a loss of words. Oh, how sweet the reunion with his sweet loved ones in Heaven must have been. Till we meet again!

Ernie Lucas

December 1, 2019

Jim and I worked for the GM&O Railroad Company in Bloomington, IL in the 1960’s. I had a company car and Jim worked in the communications department. He use to work on my company car radio. Jim was a fine man. Always very friendly and helpful. My sincere sympathy to his family.

Ernie Lucas
Oak Lawn, IL

Jane and Mark Schweizer Fairchild

December 1, 2019

My heart is filled up with tears as I remember fondly a life long friend to my family. Jim Keen. My Poppa (Herman Schweizer) worked alongside of Jim through the GM&O Railroad station, and they were best of friends in life. Jim helped my Poppa to remodel our very small and 'old' bathroom (House was from 1800's and the bathroom was made out of a closet that was connected to the two bedrooms) when I was a small child, using Turquoise colored tile. (It was a 1950's style). There were many times that I would go visit Jim and Margie at Keen's Tile, just to drop over and say 'hello'.
I shall always value Jim and Margie's walk in our Lord Jesus Christ. They 'both' inspired me.
They both were solid, steady, and Jesus was always part their lives.
I was planning to go visit Jim after his birthday announcement, but due to my own ill-health, I never made it over to visit with him. This bothers me greatly as I would have loved hugging 'Uncle' Jim once again.
One thing for certain, Jim is with our Lord Jesus Christ on the other side of ETERNITY, along with Margie, and his loved one's from before.
Jim and Margie were life long friends in my life and my parents life. I shall always remember such wonderful people on this earth and thankful that they always shared about JESUS to others (as myself)... Thank you Jim and Margie for your love of our Lord Jesus Christ and for your lives on this earth. You made me 'richer' because of YOU.