- Cullman, Alabama

August 31, 2013

Samuel William Keaton Sr.

Roselawn Funeral Home

DECATUR — Samuel William Keaton Sr.

Samuel William Keaton Sr. passed on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, in Marietta, Ga., shortly after being diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer.

Visitation is from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, with a service to follow on Wednesday at 11 a.m., both to occur at Roselawn Funeral Home in Decatur, Ala.  

Sam was the second of three children to Pauline and Charley Gordon Keaton of Cullman, where he grew up on the family farm before joining the U.S. Air Force. Shortly after his honorable discharge, he married Rebecca “Becky” Steenson of Decatur, Ala. Embraced by Becky’s family and her nine siblings, Sam enjoyed great fellowship with the Steensons, even helping a few of his in-laws elope in Georgia early in his and Becky’s marriage. Becky provided Sam with a warm household and planned fun trips for them, often to Florida Beaches and Nashville, Tenn., and also to South America. They raised two sons, Samuel “Sammy” Keaton Jr., now of Priceville, Ala., and Stuart “Skip” Keaton, now of Marietta, Ga.

Sam worked for 42 years at Wolverine Tubing, retiring in 1994, taking only a handful of sick days over his tenure there. A friend to many, Sam was a member of the Decatur Jaycees, the Sons of the American Revolution, and Sandy Springs United Methodist Church. He loved country music and visiting the Grand Ole Opry, though his favorite song was the “Tennessee Waltz”. A true farmer’s son, he loved crowder peas and strawberries, Farm-All Tractors, drives in the country (if NASCAR wasn’t televised), and whatever his sons and grandchildren were doing. 

Sam never spent a night away from Becky until her passing in 1999. In 2002, Sam moved to live near his youngest son in Georgia. There he put his incredibly friendly smile to work as a part-time “greeter” for a grocery store that ensured that he was present on senior discount days. He also served as the Benson Senior Center president. At 71 years of age, Sam re-married to Jimmie Cone, a lovely woman who made him smile and was a great companion. She preceded him in death in 2009.   Sam is survived by many in-laws, step-relatives, friends, and close family members including his grandson, Gerritt Keaton and Gerritt’s father, Sammy Keaton Jr. and mother, Rhonda South Herring, his grandchildren, Tony Keaton, Alyssa Keaton and Lee Keaton and their parents, Jennifer and Skip Keaton, his nephew, Keith Keaton and Keith’s father, Charles Keaton, and his nephew, Doug Harris, the child of his deceased sister, Charlise “Lorine” Keaton Harris. He was a satisfied and devoted family man who was loved by many and richly blessed by his Lord and savior Jesus Christ.