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J. Ovid "J.O." Keene


1923 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
J. Ovid Keene
Portsmouth - James Ovid Keene, 90, passed peacefully Saturday morning in Portsmouth surrounded by his wife Janet and children. Ovid, or J.O. as he was often called, was a lifelong supporter of Portsmouth and friend to all its citizens.
Born in Jacksonville, Fla. on Feb 2, 1923, Ovid moved to Portsmouth at age 5. He served his country as an Ensign and 2nd Radio Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marines during WWII on board Liberty Ships crossing the Atlantic.
Within the Portsmouth community Ovid was well known within Churchland Baptist Church and for his long involvement with the Chamber of Commerce, The Portsmouth Partnership and the Economic Development Authority.
He was also a member of the Portsmouth Assembly and Harbor Club; and was an original and sustaining member of Cedar Point Country Club.
As the founder of J.O. Keene & Company he provided service with integrity to his many clients in Insurance and Real Estate. He received his CLU from the American College of Life Underwriters in 1967 and CHFC later on. Ovid pursued continued professional enrichment for himself, his many employees, and for future generations through his work and leadership in the following examples:
President of the Norfolk Chapter of the American Society of Chartered Life Underwriters (1975-76); Life Insurance Underwriter of the Year (1981); President, Norfolk General Agents and Managers Association (1977-78); Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (1988); and President, Virginia International Terminals Board of Directors (1996).
Ovid is survived by his wife Janet; his children Allen Ovid Keene and wife June; Mary Carter (Cartie) Hamilton and husband Hugh; and James David Keene and wife Donna; his step-sons Michael A. Gervasoni and wife Sheila; and Mark A. Gervasoni, both of Richmond.
His Grandchildren are Kimberly Keene Woods and Katherine Dabney Keene; Carter deRoulhac Hamilton and James Heyward Hamilton; Mary Alexandra, Elizabeth Allen and Matthew David Keene; Lisa Michele, Erin Teresa and Sarah Kate Gervasoni; and Spencer Michael Gervasoni.
Great Grandchildren are Robert Reed and Curtis Keene Woods.
Ovid was pre-deceased by his first wife Mary Allen Keene; his mother Frances Jordan Keene and father Thomas M. Keene; and brothers Clarence Powell and Earl J. Underhill. He also was pre-deceased by the four legged love of his life, Pretty Girl.
The family would like to thank the many nurses and aides for their wonderful and loving care. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to Churchland Baptist Church or the Portsmouth Children's Museum.
Services to be held 11 a.m. Thursday, April 25, 2013 in Churchland Baptist Church by the Rev. Larry Coleman and Dr. Dan Kroger. Burial will follow in Churchland Baptist Church Cemetery. Family will receive friends at Sturtevant Funeral Home, Bennetts Creek Chapel Wednesday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Remembrance to follow at the residence.

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Published in The Virginian Pilot on Apr. 22, 2013
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