KEENE, Perry O. Jr. died Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 at the age of 87. Born Oct. 19, 1926 in Tampa, he attended 11 different schools by the time he got to junior high. He served as the cadet colonel of the ROTC at Hillsborough High School where he met, and later married, Catherine Connatser. He was a member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity at the University of Tampa and graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He became vice president of operations for Tropical Garment Manufacturing Company where he was a pioneer in offshore manufacturing, eventually elected as Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee of the American Apparel Manufacturers Association. Prior to retiring he founded his own company, Keene & Associates, to share his expertise in apparel manufacturing. Perry served in the army during WWII and continued to serve his country for the next 20 years by serving in the National Guard, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was passionate about Rays baseball and enjoyed the beach and water aerobics (an active member of the Water Babies of LA Fitness). He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Catherine (Katie) Keene; his two children, Hyla Griesdorn (Tom), and Perry O. Keene III (Kara Evans); four grandchildren, Catie Griesdorn, Alyssa, Marina and Carlin Evans-Keene; and great-granddaughter, Evelyn Arbogast. A celebration of Perry's life will be held on Feb. 15, 2014, at 10:30 am in the Roskamp Auditorium at Freedom Square, 7800 Liberty Lane, Seminole, FL 33772. Lunch will follow. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Building Homes for Heroes, 65 Roosevelt Avenue, #105, Valley Stream, NY 11581, 516-684-9220 (be sure to write Perry Keene in the memo section of your check) or www.buildinghomesforheroes.org.
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Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Feb. 2, 2014