Keith Strevel
1944 - 2020
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Keith Strevel

Strawberry Plains - Ronnie Keith Strevel ("Keith") passed away on November 19, 2020. Keith was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1944, to Lonas and Mary Strevel. He grew up in Strawberry Plains, surrounded by a host of cousins, aunts and uncles. From his earliest days, Keith knew the love of family and the strength of community. In 1962, Keith left home to attend Carson-Newman College. In the library one evening, he saw Carol Orender, a co-ed from Keokee, Virginia, and his life changed forever. The two worked hard to graduate early, so they could marry and begin their new lives together. Both educators, Keith and Carol immediately moved to Chatsworth, Georgia, where Keith taught English and Carol taught History at Chatsworth High School. Keith quickly advanced to become Director of Transportation and Maintenance for Murray County Schools. Their son, Chris Strevel, and their daughter, Janet Strevel Hayes, were born during their time in Georgia. They shared the joys of their young parenting days with their treasured neighbors and life-long friends, Larry and Charlotte Brunson. In 1972, Keith pursued his entrepreneurial dream of running his own businesses. He brought his family back to his hometown of Strawberry Plains. Near the same time, Carol's sister, Lucretia Thomas, and her husband, Larry Thomas, moved from Virginia to Strawberry Plains. Keith and Larry became partners in Cole Building Supply, a local supply business and hardware store. Keith returned to his childhood church, Lyons Creek Baptist, and built a home in Strawberry Plains, where he lived the rest of his life. His next door neighbor, Bruce Dukes, grew to become his best buddy. Keith was gifted in his ability to quickly calculate numbers and solve problems, making him the "go to" guy for members of the community who needed guidance on building and business projects. While some will remember him for the sketches and measurements made on notepads at the counter of the building supply, his greatest legacy will not be his business. It will be his family. Keith was an involved dad. He loved nothing more than spending time with his family. Every summer weekend, he pulled his children and their friends around Cherokee Lake on water skis and inner tubes. Then he loaded the boat to take everyone night fishing. From how to clean a fish to how to do algebra, he taught his children about life. He prepared them to launch their own families and welcomed Janet's husband, Tracy Hayes, as his own son, and Chris's wife, Julie (Harrison) Strevel, as his own daughter. His grandchildren, Macy Hayes (20), Cooper Hayes (18), Mary Strevel (10) and Molly Strevel (10), completed his tribe and brought him the greatest joy. Whether it was a ballgame, a golf tournament, or a school project, "Poppa" was their biggest supporter and cheerleader. For his family, Keith Strevel was the rock. He was source of wisdom; the motivator; the encourager; and the consistent shoulder to cry on. It seems there was no problem that could not be fixed by his skilled hands or his compassionate heart. With a soft smile, encouraging touch, and endless reserve of patience, he prepared his family for all life would offer. Keith is now at peace in his heavenly home, yet his impact on this earth will be felt for generations. In an effort to avoid large gatherings, respects can be paid at Bridges Funeral Home any time between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 22 at an open call of convenience. Family and friends will gather at Trentville Cemetery on Monday, November 23 at 1:45 p.m. for a 2:00 p.m. graveside funeral service, where social distancing will be observed. Reverend Mark Williams will officiate. Pallbearers include Bruce Dukes, Cooper Hayes, Macy Hayes, Gerald Hayes, Tracy Hayes, Chris Strevel, and Larry Thomas. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The R.Keith Strevel and Carol Orender Strevel Scholarship Fund at Carson-Newman University. Attn: Advancement Office, P.O. Box 557 Jefferson City, TN 37760 or Lyons Creek Baptist Church. Arrangements by Bridges Funeral Home, 5430 Rutledge Pike, 865-523-4999.

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Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22, 2020.
Calling hours
10:00 - 04:00 PM
Graveside service
02:00 PM
Trentville Cemetery
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8 entries
November 28, 2020
Carol, you guys have been in my prayers all week. I pray for God to comfort and hold you tight. Good for Keith that he is happy and whole again but sad for those of us who love and miss him. Even while undergoing treatment Keith took time to call mom several times and with all you had on your plate, you visited. Such a loving, caring family that I’m proud to be a part of and I will keep you, Janet, and Chris in my prayers, love, Candy
Candy McGinley
November 22, 2020
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November 22, 2020
Dear Carol and family,

My prayers are with you. May our Savior give you peace during this time.

Much love,

Karen Talley
Karen Talley
November 22, 2020
Carol, I'm so sorry to hear of Keith's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Donna Hooker
Donna Hooker
November 21, 2020
My heart felt sympathy to such a sweet family. Prayers for peace and comfort.
Bonny and Jock Coker
November 21, 2020
Keith was a great man, praying for you Carol and Janet & Chris and the rest of the family, may the Lord wrap His loving arms around you all during this time and the days ahead. Love and prayers Shirley Mason and Family.
Shirley Mason
November 21, 2020
Keith had an infectious and warm smile that will be a treasured Memory!! Prayers for Comfort to Carol and Family during this sad time.
Nancy Atkins
November 20, 2020
Oh my, what can I say about Keith. He and my husband Roger were first cousins and grew up together. From what I hear, they were really close back then. He was such a wonderful person, was one of a few who checked on me quite often over the past few years after my husband died, and I appreciate that so very much. A few years ago I was privileged to have been able to go to his last chemo treatment, everyone there dearly loved him... the perfect patient. He and Carol always gave me a place to stay when I went home to Knoxville for a visit. He truly loved his family. Carol you have been the perfect wife for him and I know you will miss him terribly, rest assured you will never forget him, but time will help you heal...Chris and his family, Janet and her family will all be there for you. Feel free to reach out to me anytime. Love you.
Nancy Jo Clift
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