In Memoriam

Gene Rogers Shepard-Keever
Gene Rogers Shepard-Keever
Class of 1940

The Virginian-Pilot, (Norfolk, VA) - March 20, 2007

PORTSMOUTH - Gene Rogers Shepard Keever passed away March 11, 2007. She was the daughter of the late Ella and Joseph Jefferson Shepard and the widow of Richard M. Keever.

Mrs. Keever grew up in the community of Cradock and graduated from Cradock High School. At the age of 15, she entered Westhampton College and graduated in 1944. In May 1994, she was inducted into the Frederic W. Boatwright Society for 50 years of service as a devoted alumna of the university. Mrs. Keever taught for many years at several local schools.

She was a longtime member of the Sterling Point Garden Club. She was a past member of the Portsmouth Library Board and a member of the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club. She volunteered at the Virginia Opera Association and served as a docent at the Chrysler Museum and for the Governor's Mansion.

Her love of the Lord began at Court Street Baptist Church and continued at both Green Acres and Cradock Presbyterian Church where she taught Sunday School for more than 40 years. She also served on the Steering Committee for the Billy Graham Crusade in 1975.

Mrs. Keever had a wonderful gift for public speaking. Her favorite topics included the first ladies of the White House, the first ladies of Virginia and flowers and birds of the Bible.

Her true love of politics led to active involvement in many successful campaigns and she travelled throughout the state in support of numerous candidates.

Perhaps her greatest gift was her unique way with people. She never met a stranger and she made everyone around her feel welcome, comfortable and at ease. In her many travels around the world, languages created no barrier for her. She was always able to communicate and make new friends, young and old. She had an incredible spirit and a heart that touched so many.

Mrs. Keever is survived by her daughter Suellen Anne Keever who was her companion and caretaker for 12 years. She is also survived by two sons, Richard M. Keever and Jeff Keever and his two children.

A church service will be held Tuesday, March 27, at 11 a.m. in Court Street Baptist Church. The burial was private.