Col. William Presley Keeton Jr.

May 8, 1921October 28, 2013

Col. (Ret.) William (Bill) P. Keeton Jr., 92, of Raleigh, NC passed away on Monday, October 28, 2013. He was born May 8, 1921 in Charlie Hope, VA. Bill is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 67 years, Vivian. He is survived by his four children: Hope Schneider and her husband John of Glen Burnie, MD, Dr. Wm. Presley Keeton, III and his wife Paula of Fayetteville, NC, Kathryn Stevens and her husband Mark of Waldorf, MD, and LCDR (Ret.) John Keeton and his wife Tina of Navarre, FL. Bill is also survived by nine grandchildren: Laura Hesse and husband Peter, Heather Arnold and husband David, Heidi Guth and husband Adam, Caitlin Keeton, Rachel Keeton and husband Tom Bokkers, Will Keeton, Kelly Morrish and husband Matt, Katie Keeton, and Kari Keeton; nine great-grandchildren: Marie, Brian, and Janie Hesse, Hayley and Zachary Arnold, Elise, Natalie and Braden Guth, and Odette Vivian Bokkers. Bill began his military career on September 15, 1941 in the Enlisted Reserve Corps (Inactive) where he served until his release on March 26, 1943. On March 27, 1943 he graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI), and entered on Active Duty as an enlisted man until his release on July 28, 1943. Bill was Commissioned on July 29, 1943 as a Second Lieutenant, Coast Artillery (Anti-Aircraft), Officer Reserve Corps and assigned as an Automatic Weapons Officer. He attended Officer Candidate School run by Department of the Army at Camp Davis, Holly Ridge, NC. During his first year of commissioned service there were excess Anti-Aircraft Officers due to the US air superiority; therefore, he attended a special Basic Course designed by Ft. Benning to convert Anti-Aircraft Officers to Infantry. He remained an Infantry Officer for the rest of his career. After completion of Infantry training, Bill received various duty assignments which consisted of Small Arms Instructor, Rifle Platoon Leader, and Company Commander. During that time, he was also promoted to First Lieutenant and was released from Active Duty on September 16, 1946 as a Captain. Bill then rejoined the Officers Reserve Corps on September 17, 1946, until his release on March 18, 1948 (Inactive). Bill joined the North Carolina National Guard on March 19, 1948, as a First Lieutenant, Infantry. He served in the following various duty assignments: Platoon Leader; Company Commander; Battalion S-3; Battalion Executive Officer; Assistant G-1; Assistant G-3; Officer Candidate School Commandant; Support Command Commander; Chief of Staff, 30th Infantry Division. Bill was assigned as the USPFO for North Carolina on May 14, 1973, and served in that capacity until May 1980. On May 1, 1980 he was assigned as Chief of Staff, North Carolina Army National Guard. Bill was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Meritorious Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, North Carolina Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Hornets Nest, Army National Guard Service Ribbon and was inducted into the NC Military Academy Hall of Fame in 2005. The family would like to acknowledge the kindness and friendship of Doris Willis who was not only a caregiver but also a part of our family, and always will be. Bill had a great love for his family and good friends, the NC National Guard, and his beloved Virginia Tech Hokies. Sadly his only regret was that Virginia Tech never won the National Championship. Go Hokies! Over the years retirement there was a parade of dear friends from the North Carolina National Guard who remained steadfast in their support of Bill and Vivian. In recent years in particular , Col. (Ret.) Kearney Peebles, Col. (Ret.) Grif Warthington, and CSM (Ret.) Steve Blackwood have been available and responsive to every need. Bill loved the beach, especially Ocean Isle Beach where the family enjoyed many days fishing, golfing and relaxing over the years. Bill and Vivian were together for 67 years; their love and devotion to one another and to their family set a standard for all of us. It is a great consolation to think of them together again. A funeral service will be held Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at Ridge Road Baptist Church, 2011 Ridge Road , Raleigh. The family will receive friends one hour prior from 10:00am – 11:00 am in the church Fellowship Hall. Burial with full military honors will follow the service at Raleigh Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to any charity which best supports and benefits U.S. veterans and their families. Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary’s St., Raleigh, NC 27605. Condolences may be made to


  • Funeral Service Friday, November 1, 2013

Col. William Presley Keeton Jr.

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Michael Stevens

November 8, 2013

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Keeton family. Love Mike, Michelle , and Kayleigh Stevens

Susan Pait Gardner

November 5, 2013

I fondly remember Col. Keeton and for the friendship he shared with my Dad, Col. N.J. Pait. Col. Keeton was always one of my favorites. John, please accept my condolences.

Elizabeth Boyles

November 1, 2013

I knew Colonel Keeton through my Dad, Larry Steed who worked with him in the National Guard. Colonel Keeton was a wonderful person, caring husband, and a great friend to my Dad!! He will definitely be missed at the Retirees' meetings by all his National Guard buddies!! He is now with his lovely wife Vivian!! My thoughts and prayers are with his family!!

William Smith

November 1, 2013

May we all be aware that one of life's biggest blessings is that we are not able to take anything with us when we pass, but we may leave an unlimited abundance behind.
Bill, congratulations to you, sir, for the family you raised, your service to our great country, and the legacy you'll be recognized for this Friday.
And lest a fellow man from the commonwealth forget, GO HOKIES!

Debra Watkins-Snow

October 31, 2013

Dear Ones
We are grieving with you and thinking of all the wonderful memories of times spent with you and Uncle Billy and Aunt Vivian. You will all be in our prayers, especially tomorrow.
With much love, Debra, Don, Taylor and Spencer

October 31, 2013

I worked with COL Keeton for many years and had the greatest respect for him. He was a fair and just man and will be missed by all of us. My prayers are with the family.

Vicki Gilmore

Clyde Marsh

October 31, 2013

Dear Pres & Family,

I remember the graciousness of your parents way back when I used to visit your home back in our younger days. Becky and I send our condolences on your Dad's passing.

Clyde, Becky, Carrie and Daniel Marsh

Frank & Gale Krol

October 31, 2013

Thinking of you all at this time of loss. You have all been wonderful to your father and I know he appreciated all that you did for him. Our prayers will be with you tomorrow.

October 31, 2013

Dr. Keeton, I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family.
Paula Lewis

Bob Rubush

October 31, 2013

My condolences to your family

I have only read of your family's loss but I noted your father/grandfather graduated class of 1943 from Virginia Tech and served at Camp Davis after graduation

My Father also was Class of 1943 at Tech He was in K Battery After graduation,he too was at Camp Davis I am sure there lives must have crossed

Again my condolences and if I may say Hokie Hokie Hokie Hi to a life well lived