Clarence L. McKeithen, Sr., devoted husband, father and friend, was born on March 1, 1931 and passed away on February 21, 2019 at Reid Heart Center, First Health in Pinehurst, NC. He was one of five boys born to the late William and Minnie Evelyn McKeithen of Vass, NC.
Clarence’s desire to serve God, his love for learning and great respect for God’s word led him to study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. His spiritual education and appreciation continued to grow, leading to his baptism as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in March 1980. Throughout Clarence’s life, his never-ending self- sacrificing spirit and concern for others was always present.
He offered care and support to those who needed guidance, a comforting word, a caring heart or a listening ear. His constant desire to help others and his deep love for his God, Jehovah, truly defined him as a person, earning him the love and respect of those who knew him. To many he was that close friend described in Proverbs 17:17 as the “true friend who shows love at all times and is a brother for times of distress.”
Everyone who knew Clarence knew that he had a deep, full laugh that would fill any room. He loved playing cards. Pinochle and Spades were serious business. Clarence loved people and he was genuine. When he paid you a compliment, you knew he really meant it. His greatest joy; though, came from serving Jehovah.
Clarence served as an elder for decades, mentoring a lot of younger brothers. Clarence especially took pride in serving as Field Service Overseer. He loved helping others come to know Jehovah and did just that as often as he could. For years he pioneered, in fact, as recently as December serving as a fulltime evangelizer as health allowed.
Clarence retired from the Army almost 50 years ago. He rose to Sergeant First Class; his MOS was Transportation/Logistics. He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Allene Marie McKeithen and brothers, Robert, Ernest, Bernest and Edward McKeithen.
He is survived by his loving wife, Elizabeth Rachel Berry Lutz McKeithen and will be fondly remembered by his children Bruce L. Thomas (Maria), M. Beatrice McKeithen, Clarence L. McKeithen, Jr., Avery A. McKeithen (Damita), Trillis M. McKeithen (Ken), Kay F. Rogers (Scottie), Kevin McKeithen, Maria Harper (Aaron), Shawn Berry, Katrina Lutz (Kendell) and Foster sons, Raymone and Darrius Kegler.
Clarence will forever be remembered by his grandchildren: Brionna McKeithen, Jason Thomas (Amanda), Anessa McKeithen, Tressa Rowe (Jonathan), Jayme Belk, Warren Veney, Jr., Damitrius Quick, Averyana Quick, Jaiden Quick, Tionica McRae, Kendrick McRae, Keith McRae, Jayla Miles, Tailor Miles, Mackenzie Miles; great-grandchildren: Shabar Thomas, Jr., Xavier Harper, Shakayla Thomas, Tre’Von McKeithen, Tristan McKeithen, Kirah Belk, twins Jaylen & Jaden Thomas and Karmen McRae.
He will also be sadly missed by his aunt, Mattie Belle Thompson and her son Edward McKeithen along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.