Elmer Joseph “Joe” Keeton, Jr. of Newton, Iowa passed away on Tuesday, March 7,
2023, at HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital in Destin, Florida.
Joe was born on February 28, 1947 in Oskaloosa to Edith (Scott) and Elmer Joseph
Keeton, Sr. Joe grew up in Lovilia working at his dads filling station and was a 1965
graduate of Albia High School. Joe enlisted in the U.S Army in May of 1966. Upon
completion of basic training, he returned to Lovilia to marry his high school sweetheart,
Donna Phipps. They were united in marriage on July 24, 1966 and enjoyed 45 years of
raising their three sons and spoiling their grandchildren.
Joe proudly served his country from 1966-1969. His military experience in
communications, while stationed in Korea, paved the way to a 40 year career in
Database Management with various telephone companies, including Iowa Telecom
where he would retire from in 2010. He was also a member of the Lovilia American
Legion Post #0613. He was a member of the Independent Bible Church of Bussey until
moving to O’Fallon, Missouri in 1992, where he was reunited with Pastor Bruce Chulka,
formally the pastor in Bussey. In 2000, the opportunity arose to move back to Iowa
where he enjoyed woodworking, playing cards, and spending more time with family. In
recent years, Joe was well known around town for leaving $2 bills as a tip when eating
out. A special friendship was forged with the Fab Four; Lana Wohlers, Denise, and Allen
when they began traveling to numerous places, including their annual trip to Florida
every March. Joe also enjoyed breakfast with the Rat Pack on the first Tuesday of each
Joe is survived by his three sons, Mark (Lisa) Keeton of Albia, Brian (LaNita) Keeton of
Newton, and David (Dana) Keeton of Liberty, Missouri; his adoring grandchildren
Deanna (Tony) and Aaron Keeton, Jonah (Ashlee), Tessa and Jaxon Keeton, and
Gannon, Connor, and Dinnah Keeton; his great-grandchildren Ivy, William, and Behron;
and many in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his
loving wife, Donna Keeton; daughter Kelly Jo Keeton; a still born son; parents Elmer
Keeton and Edith Blomgren; his brother, Dennis Keeton; and in-laws Hilbert and Joy
A memorial service will be held in his honor at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, 2023
at Grace Church where he attended in Newton, Iowa. The service will also be live
streamed on the church’s Facebook page. The family will greet friends after the service
with a luncheon at the church. Memorials may be left at the church or with the Wallace
Family Funeral Home and Crematory.
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