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223 Bedford Rd N
Battle Creek, MI 49037
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Ruel McKeen


1930 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Ruel McKeen Obituary
Ruel John McKeen

Hickory Corners

It is with tremendous sadness that the family of Ruel "John" McKeen age 85 announces the passing of our dear father, step-father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend on Tuesday morning, May 31, 2016 at the Bronson Battle Creek in Battle Creek, MI.

He was born August 28, 1930 in Manton, MI the son of Ruel A. McKeen and Hannah (Perry) McKeen.

John was a "body maker" which meant he made different size metal cans for all the Campbell Soup products in Napoleon, Ohio for 27 years, he eventually retired in 1990. John enlisted in the US Army in 1948 and was honorably discharged on May 1, 1952 from Camp Polk, Louisiana. While he was in the Army he received the American Occupation Medal of Japan, Korean Service Medal with 4 bronze service stars and an Arrowhead, and the Parachutist Badge. He was with the Army Air Corps during Korean Conflict and was a paratrooper with the 11th Airborne Division (known as the Flying Angels because the 11 men remained and they received their angel wings).

He married Shirley Ann Norris on July 29, 2006 in the Gull Lake Bible Church in Hickory Corners; however his wife passed away on January 16, 2016. His first wife Myrna J. Baringer married her on Nov. 14, 1953 in Angola, IN and she also preceded him in death on September 20, 1996.

He was a Life member of DAV in Defiance, OH. He was a faithful member of the Gull Lake Bible Church. He had been a former member of the VFW in Battle Creek; he enjoyed collecting model cars and beer steins. He was a volunteer as an Honor Guard with the Fort Custer National Cemetery squad.

He is survived by: his son: Larry D. and Sandy McKeen of Defiance, OH; two step sons: Rev. Robert "Bob" and Sandy Norris of Ithaca, MI, and David and Beth Norris of Battle Creek, MI; his daughter: Pamela and Rodger Ashbaugh of Defiance, OH; step daughter - Nancy and Karl Mills of Kalamazoo, MI; grandchildren eight (Hollie and Tracy Hahn; Kirby and Michelle McKeen; Heather McKeen; Randy; Greg, Brian; Stacy; and Jason); three great grandchildren: (Amber Schindler; James Schindler and Mason McKeen); Nine step grandchildren; fifteen step great grandchildren; a sister - Mildred Histed of Mount Pleasant, MI; two half-brothers - Ken Murray of Houghton Lake, MI and Carl Murray of Ypsilanti, MI.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his two spouses; a half-sister: Stella Stamper; a step-grandson: Matthew David Norris (1985); a brother Roy McKeen.

Visitation will be held at the Bachman Hebble Funeral Service (Battle Creek, MI) on Monday, June 6, 2016 from 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM and the funeral services commemorating Ruel's life will be held Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at 11:30 AM at the Gull Lake Bible Church, 1491 Midland Drive, Hickory Corners, MI with Rev. Robert Norris of the Ithaca Baptist Church and Pastor Gary T. Cantrell officiating. Burial with military honors will follow at the Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, MI. Memorial tributes may be made to: Gull Lake Bible Church, Hickory Corners.  Arrangements by the Bachman Hebble Funeral Service, a member by invitation Selected Independent Funeral Homes. (269)965-5145.  Please leave a special remembrance on Mr. McKeen's web-page at www.bachmanhebble.com 
Published in Battle Creek Enquirer on June 5, 2016
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