Charles W. Keene of Saint Marys, KS passed away at the age of 82 in Topeka at St. Francis hospital, having received the Last Rites, prayers, and blessings of the Catholic Church and surrounded by friends.
Born in Indiana, Chuck moved to Saint Marys in the late 1980s to be part of Assumption Chapel. He was proud of his adult conversion to the Catholic Faith, his time spent exploring a monastic vocation, his years helping in St. Louis with a Catholic charity, his times spent as a cowboy in WY and KS, and his employment with TRA, The Onyx Collection, and Traditional Trucking.
In his years since retirement, Chuck became best known for his presence in downtown Saint Marys, taking a stroll with his walking stick and stopping in at MJ’s coffee shop for conversation while keeping track of all the activity on Main Street. He did not know a stranger and was gifted in the art of friendly conversation, but was not shy about giving his opinions (fact-based or not) to anyone in ear-shot at the coffee shop and at the City Commission Meetings. Even if he disagreed strongly with you on any topic, it was impossible to be upset at him for very long with his enjoyable character and humor. Chuck was also very good at apologizing for his short-temper and memorable outbursts, and one easily forgave him. A simple soul, he was delighted by the smallest kindness or generosity shown to him and he never forgot a friend.
A life-long bachelor, he was close over the years with many local families and helped many of them with food and money or tuition. He enjoyed seeing the children he knew grow up and start families of their own. He had a special affinity for the women of St. Marys and always had a compliment on his lips or a flirtatious remark to give. He did a kind service to many a weary mother who needed his extra dose of encouragement and kind words about their children. His gift to Saint Marys and to his friends was his unforgettable good humor, cheerful greetings, simplicity of heart, and his affability with everyone from any background. He leaves behind a town that loved him and misses him and who will never forget him. Please say a prayer for Chuck whenever you remember him.
Requiem Mass will be said at 7:15 A.M. Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at Assumption Chapel in St. Marys. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Peace Cemetery, St. Marys. A Rosary will be recited at 7:00 P.M. Tuesday, June 29, 2021, at the church.