Michael Joe “Mike” Keeble of Newnan, Georgia (formerly of Valley, AL) passed away peacefully on Monday, 21 March 2022 at his home at 35 Fairway Ct., Newnan surrounded by his loved ones.
Mike was preceded in death by his father Willie Joe Keeble, mother Mary Kathryn Hill Wallace, and his dear friend, Luke Gunnells. He is survived by special friends including Harry “Snapper” (Jackie) Elsey, children Allison and Elliott Elsey of North Augusta SC, Jim (Benita)Gunnells of Cusseta, AL, David (Pam)Thomason of Winder, GA, and Maria Hackenson of Newnan, GA.
Mike was born September 22, 1944, in Valley, AL. At an early age, he had extraordinary athletic skills, winning various youth sports competitions which he developed much further due to hours of practice in everything he pursued. He graduated from Valley High School in 1962 having excelled in academics as well as in all team sports, including football, basketball, and baseball. Mike was Alabama Allstate in basketball and baseball and scored 56 points in a basketball game his senior year, which was the record for points by a player at VHS.
Mike received a B.S. in Business Administration from Auburn University in 1967 where he was on the golf and basketball teams. After graduation, he was drafted into the Army and proudly served with the U.S. Army Rangers. Later, as a platoon leader and First Lieutenant in Viet Nam, his platoon came under enemy fire, and though he was severely wounded, he crawled onto the battlefield to help wounded soldiers back to safety. He spent 22 months recovering from numerous surgeries at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and while there he was promoted to Captain. Among his many military awards, he also received the Purple Heart and Silver Star for his bravery.
Mike moved to Atlanta (and later to Newnan) where he worked for Delta Airlines as a flight/crew scheduler for 27 years. During this time he received numerous awards. He even became the undefeated Ping Pong champ at Delta. His life was continually enriched as he developed many long-lasting relationships with colleagues, old friends, and others through a common love for golf. , are still sharing stories and good times spent with Mike. He created nicknames for most of them!
Mike attended First United Methodist Church in Newnan. His hobbies included: playing golf, traveling, reading, and tailgating with friends at Auburn home games.
There will be a visitation at 1:00 pm-2:00 pm on Saturday, 26 March 2022 at Johnson Brown Funeral Home, Valley, AL. A private graveside service led by Rev. David Bradshaw will follow at Johnson Brown Memorial Gardens behind the funeral home. Chaplain Earnestine Sinkfield of Kindred Hospice Newnan, whose multiple visits to Mike inspired him so much, will also participate in the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, https://www.stjude.org.
Please visit Mike’s Memorial Tribute page at www.johnsonbrownservicefh.com to leave a condolence for his friends, share a memory of Mike, or light a Remembrance Candle in his memory.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley directing.