I just found out today about Jack (Thank you kristi for letting me know) You were a really good friend to me and I felt like one of the family. Peace be with you, my prayers and thoughts are will all his wonderful kids and grandkids.
I had the honor of speaking the following at my good friend Jack's Memorial Service
Jack Keeton's Burial Service 10/9/2012
Open Door Church, Joshua, TX
Intro: When Bryan asked me to come up and say a few words about Jack my first thoughts were “Geez Louise how do you say only a few words about Jack!?”
(EXPECT A BIG LAUGH)
No my friendship with Jack goes back 35 yrs and truly, he was a great friend, fact is, Jack was a better friend to me then I was to him but that's the way Jack rolled; and in that 35 yrs Jack and I had few cross words although many times he frustrated me to the point of wanting to find the closest heavy object I could find and knock him over the head with it! (ANOTHER BIG LAUGH)
Seriously though, Jack I were nothing less than Ying & Yang, complementary forces, unseen and seen interacting together to form a greater whole. Often times one of us would be thinking of something in our heads and the other would verbalize it; or would be thinking of one another and the other call.
If I had to limit myself to three or four words which described Jack best the first word would be, and I think everyone who knew him even casually will agree, that Jack was spontaneous. There was never, and I mean never, a dull moment when you were around Jack; he had the knack of turning the ordinary into an event! Typically one of us, usually Jack, would say something off handed in conversation like “Man we need to go fishing down at the Coast” (or something er other like that) and no more than a day or two would go by & Jack would call and say he had all the equipment ready what time did I want him over to leave; and off we'd go! Jack was an avid bird hunter and fisherman and it was just one of these times like I mentioned a few months after we had first met that Jack shows up at the house and he has this canoe strapped down on the top of this 68 Impala station wagon he had at the time and says “let's go to Possum Kingdom Lake, I know a spot we can fish and maybe shoot some duck.” So I pile in and we head on up, get the boat in the lake, and no more than get out there and start prepping the tackle when he screams in that high pitched voice of his, “OH MAN!! I dropped my shotgun in the lake!!” Well needless to say that was it for that day and we got the gear together, boat out of the water and headed on back. Jack seemed pretty laid back about it and as always had his eye on the horizon, pointing out deer that were running well off the side of the road and cracking wise all the way home. When I asked him what he planned to tell his family about the shotgun, it was like his dad's or grandad's as I remember, he said I don't know yet but I have got to get that gun back! Well I just hooted because we had paddled quite aways out and a Northern had been blowing in too so's I just said “Man you can forget about finding that gun now!” Well next morning Jack calls me and says he was heading back up to get the shotgun and did I wanna go? Sure I says but??? Well come to find out Jack had gone and rented a divers wet suit with tanks and planned to get that shotgun even if it hair-lipped the governor and sure enough, he did. You see, before leaving the lake the day before, Jack had gotten his bearing to that exact spot, using landmarks & paddle time out only, and then dove down to find it; within minutes he came up with the gun! I had a whole new respect for jack after that.
Jack was very charismatic, he never knew a stranger and if Jack introduced you as his friend to another of his friends there would be instant camaraderie between us all because of whom we both knew Jack to be and the type of person he made friends to.
I think though the most prominent quality Jack possessed was that as a visionary! If Jack could think it, he would try it and then usually beat all odds at either getting it done OR into the hands of someone else who, unlimited by finances or resources, could get it done.
Jack excelled at things through the sheer power of his Will and gained the satisfaction of accomplishment in the mere fleshing out of an endeavor. As I mentioned he was an avid sportsman. He loved to fish and bird hunt and did so often. He was a better than average pool player (he always beat the pants off me unless he let me win); and a better than average golfer. We played softball together right after we met which is how I came to meet another of his good friends, who also became one of mine, Mike Isley; and he even founded and played on a semi-pro football team, the Sherman Classics.
Jack loved life and a challenge and as long as I knew him he never shrank from either!!
As far as Jack's business career, and there are probably several endeavors he attempted of which I'm gonna miss here; in the 35 yrs I knew him, beginning when I first met him, Jack drove 18 wheeler's cross country, then stopped driving and opened an upholstery shop (Keeton Ind. & fabrics being his family's type of business), worked with me as a piano refinisher down in Brazoria County, then moved off to Jackson Hole, Wyoming doing only God knows what. When he and his family moved from Wyoming back to Texas he went to work with me moving pianos and doing odd jobs around the piano store, like building enclosed office space for the salesmen and erecting a rooftop exhaust system. During this period of time Jack decided that we needed to open our own piano shop and have my dad run it; he found a neat little building in Handley right down Lancaster Av from McBrayer Piano (I don't have to tell y'all how that ended up) and we started stocking it with pianos for my dad to sell. Well one thing led to another and Jack (who was going by Buck Rogers at the time) and I decided we would be better running the new little shop. Couple months go by & I had this one old uprite which was painted white but looked pretty cool and Jack wanted it for himself so we came to an agreement on the price and it was then his. Well Jack comes up to me a couple days later and asks if he can borrow my drill and a wire wheel that would fit in it and when I ask him why he says it was a surprise but he sure would appreciate the use of them. So I says ok. So's I come in the next morning and Jack had started using the drill & wire wheel to remove the white paint from this piano but unbeknownst to him the wood of the piano was all oak, which anyone knowing woods knows to be deep grained; well Jack had about a third of the finish off the piano but it had already taken three wire wheels to do so plus he had burnt up the drill. Well we all had a good laugh at Jack's expense at this point but he was undaunted; he went and bought another drill and several more wire wheels, got all the paint off of the piano, took Old English and stained this now really deeply pored veneer, put it all back together and aptly named it The Keytone Finish. Needless to say he was proud of it and said, “Now Danny the next oak case piano that comes in is mine!”
Well in closing; there are many more tales I could tell and many more words to describe my good friend Jack Keeton but I think the one word which best describes him would be his Loyalty. Jack was loyal to his friends, he was loyal to himself and he was loyal to those who he loved and loved him. Jack always fought to make a difference; a difference in his family, a difference in his & his family's quality of life, and a difference from the normality of this world but probably more than anything else Jack desired above all to make a difference in the lives of others and I believe that is what has endeared me to him most all of these years. I can stand here today and tell you without a doubt Jack made a difference in my life and the lives of many within my family. Jack was a giver and rarely, if ever, a taker.
Well, I want to assure everyone here; Jack's pain and the indignation of his suffering are well over for him now. He is whole and free of the things which bound him and bind us in soul and mind and in these bodies of flesh.
I am so grateful that I had the opportunity go visit and talk with Jack just a few days before he went to be with the Lord, and make no mistake about that! He is with the King at this very moment! He told me he was ready to go, more than ready to go but was willing to stay because he felt the Lord obviously had something He wanted him here for.
I want to say one last thing to all in the room, myself included; weep not for Jack but for yourselves. God Bless you all and may the Lord Jesus come soon. Maranatha!
Jack, I will miss your smile and your loving nature and quick wit. It seems like only a few months ago that we were both dragging Bryan and Henry and anybody else we could find to play golf. May you hit them long and straight and may all your putts be for birdies up there (at least until I can get there and give you some competition). I'll also miss fishing at the RCAT Annual Fishing Tournament and seeing you there as well. My prayers and thoughts are with Bryan, Melissa and the rest of your family during this time of loss.
Jack, though we havnt seen you often over the last number of years, you will be missed by our family! Rest assured we have eyes on lil jack, as always! MONTE, SONYA, SHELBY AND COURTNEY BATEMAN. RIP AND SAVE US A SEAT