Graveside services for Arthur W. “Bill” Keefer, 93, Lawrence, will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, January 27, 2022 at Clinton Cemetery in Clinton, KS. The family will greet friends from 10 a.m. – 12:00 noon on Thursday, prior to the graveside service at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.
Bill was born August 11, 1928 in Ottawa, Kansas to Arthur Wayman and Audrey Ermine Brooks Keefer. Two siblings joined the family – Robert and Peggy.
The family moved around western Kansas during the depression years wherever Wayman could find work, eventually returning to Ottawa where Bill attended elementary school. The family moved to Lawrence where Bill attended Lawrence Memorial junior high and graduated in 1946 from University High School. Bill participated in basketball and theatre.
Hobbies over the years included travel, bowling, working crossword puzzles, “phishing”, and riding motorcycles.
In 1950 he met Nora Jean Miskimen at Weaver’s Department store where they both worked. On December 16 they were wed. Four children joined them – Bonnie, Carol, Gary and Terry. Bill and Jean were together for 57 years before she passed in 2008.
Bill and a friend joined the Air Force Reserves in 1950 and were called up in 1951. He served in Ogden, Utah at Hill AFB. He was honorably discharged in 1952 from Andrews AFB in California. His wife, sister and brother-in-law drove to California to bring him home.
After leaving the service Bill returned to Ottawa and eventually went to work in the floorcovering business. After three years in Abilene, Texas he moved his family to Lawrence and formed a partnership with his brother-in-law in the floorcovering business—K&M Floorcovering.
Bill participated in Jaycees as a young man and joined the Masons. He worked his way through the Masons and joined Abdallah Shrine. In 1993 Bill became Potentate.
Bill and Jean welcomed grandchildren into their lives beginning with granddaughter Wendi. Wendi and Popo explored the farm together and rode the motorcycle—she on the front with her feet on the handlebar. Emily, Kylie and Cassandra soon followed and joined in on the adventures on the farm. Raelynn and Cooper came later in life and missed the farm fun.
The grands grew up and married and along came the greats. Christopher was first and his Nan gave him the nickname of Bubba and it has stuck. Madison came next and because Nan and Popo moved close she spent a lot of time at their house. Tristen, Megan and Dylan quickly joined the crew. Megan joined sister Madison at Nan and Popo’s and was spoiled indeed. Jaxon, Skyler, Audrey, and Desmond round out the greats.
In recent years Bill spent his time with friends and family—still driving and living independently at 93. He met monthly with his sister, cousin Albert and wife Marilyn and other family members. He spent time with friends watching the Chiefs. Bill was still traveling – his last trip was in October, 2021 to Cabo, Mexico.
Memorial contributions may be made in Bill’s name to the Shriners Hospitals for Children and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.