Edna Keels, 88, of Rock Hill, S.C.and Indian Land, S.C. peacefully went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Sunday, July 14, 2013, after a long illness. She was born in Bluefield, W.Va., on March 7, 1925, and was the daughter of Hayne and Lockie Hughes. Keels grew up in Plumtree, the eldest of four children.
She was employed by Mound Industries in Oakridge, Tenn., where she worked in the lab during the research and making of the first atomic bomb. She married, Henry Cecil Burleson of Newland, and they had two children, Linda Jane Burleson and the late Freddie Burleson of Charlotte.
Keels was employed with Celanese Fibers in Rock Hill, for nearly 25 years and was an active member of The Home Extension Club in Union County the last20 years. She was a member of and attended Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Indian Land until she became homebound.
She was blessed with a strong spirit, a lot of determination, and a deep respect for others, all of which helped her overcome many of life's difficulties with grace and pride. She was a beautiful and selfless lady. Although her children were her pride and joy, she loved her Lord and spent her life providing to others. Often she served as a second mom to her children's friends and was always providing clothing or gifts to those less fortunate.
A wonderful country cook, she also loved to work in her flowers and vegetable garden. She firmly believed it was more blessed to give than receive. Many a visitor left her home with food or a token of her love. Prior to her decline in health, Keels frequently visited friends, shut-in's, or other elderly with a hot, full course meal in the rear of her car. There were many who looked forward to her special New Year's Day dinners that she so lovingly prepared and delivered to their front doors, her own form of “Meals on Wheels”. She had a special love for all animals, often feeding and providing strays a home.
Keels loved spending time with her friends and family at her beach home at Ocean Isle, or entertaining at her lake home in Liberty Hill, S.C. It was there that she watched the beautiful sunsets from her porch or deck. Even in declining health, she made sure she had her special Christmas drop-in treating her friends, neighbors, and family to a night of wonderful food, games, and a lot of love and laughter.
Keels was predeceased by two husbands, Henry Cecil Burleson of Rock Hill and Newland, and Grady Lee Holdsambeck of Indian Land; her sister, Mable Lambert of Linville, and her son, Freddie Hayne Burleson of Charlotte.
Left to cherish her wonderful memory is her husband and loving caregiver, Orean L. Keels, Sr.; her daughter, Linda Jane Burleson (son-in-law in heart Ron Hinds, aka Ron Riley); brother, Harold Hughes (Henrietta) of Kingsport, Tenn.; sister, Pauline Ferguson of Rock Hill and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Josh Hardy, Vivian Thomas, Ron Hinds, Brian Polk and Josh Gouge for their part in making it possible for Keels to spend her final months at her Indian Land home. A special thanks to Jean Maxon, and Chaplain Gary Ledbetter of Hospice Care of the Carolinas for their compassionate, tender care. And finally, a very special thank you to her husband, Orean, for all the dreams he made come true, his tender loving care and devotion to her.
A celebration of life will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, July 20, 2013, at McEwen Funeral Home Pineville Chapel. Visitation with friends will be one hour prior to the service. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Humane Society of York or Mecklenburg County; or Hospice Care of the Carolinas, 1420 Ebenezer Road, Suite 103 Rock Hill, SC 29732.
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