Alvin Keaton

Obituary
  • "Alvin was a wonderful person to have known..as a small..."
  • "Congratulations!"
    - Roland Reese
  • "Al, You are now in the Light. Love you lots."
    - Deacon Tom Baca
  • "This message is to Al: You befriended a young minnow..."
    - Deacon Tom Baca
  • "Please accept my condolences for the loss of your loved..."
    - Patty

Alvin Eugene Keaton, Nov. 28, 1931, to Dec. 16, 2013. In loving memory of a man who believed in playing fair and fought for that principle, who had a great sense of humor, who NEVER passed up an opportunity to make a pun, and who was gifted with an ability to avoid being caught up in the chaff and instead to go directly to the heart of a matter. He devoted his life to drawing out these qualities in his friends and students. He retired as a professor emeritus of philosophy from New Mexico State University in 1998, after 26 years. He also served as chairman of the Dona Ana County Commission from January 1987 to December 1988. Al dropped out of school at 14, preferring to read at the Beckley Carnegie Public Library. He entered the Army at 16 and quickly obtained a GED, which allowed him to take college classes while in the Army. He went through Ranger training as an enlisted man and then served as a drill instructor for a brief period before being stationed in Germany, where he worked with German Youth during the Allied Occupation. After four years of service, he used his GI Bill to earn a B.A. in psychology and biology from Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. He then worked in various jobs: as a social worker for West Virginia Rehabilitation, a laboratory technician at M. D. Anderson Cancer Research Hospital in Houston, a mortuary assistant in Miami, a guidance counselor in Denver. In 1960, he was a graduate assistant in psychology at Arizona State University, where he met and married Mary Laurene Wender. For the next two years, he taught science at Arizona private schools before entering a graduate program at the University of Oklahoma, where he had previously held a National Science Foundation fellowship. He taught at Kansas State College of Pittsburg, University of Oklahoma, Highlands University and the College of William and Mary before settling at New Mexico State University, where he taught philosophy from 1972 to 1998. Survivors include his wife, Laurie Keaton; three sisters, Deanna Tebo of Bridgeville, Del., Patricia Honeywill of Seviersville, Tenn., and Linda Leeber of Stevensville, Md.; three nieces and four nephews; and his many friends and former students. Contributions in his memory may be sent to the at act.alz.org/goto/AlKeaton.
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Jan. 10, 2014
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