Wallace O. McKeel Sr.

Published 10:57 am Thursday, August 30, 2018

AHOSKIE – Wallace Overton McKeel, Sr., age 93, passed away on August 28, 2018 at his home in Ahoskie, NC.

Wallace was born on February 24, 1925 to William Silas and Irene Overton McKeel in Bertie County, NC in the Powellsville township. He enlisted in the US Army in 1943 and was first assigned to the 65th (Panther) Infantry Division and later the 78th (Lightening) Infantry Division of the European Theater during World War II. He was assigned to the Siegfried Line in Germany and was honorably discharged as an Assistant Squad Leader in 1946 after the war. He earned a Purple Heart and three Bronze Stars during his time serving in World War II.

When he returned to the states after the war, he attended Memphis Horological School for watchmaking in Memphis, TN. He was married to Burnell Harrell in 1947 and together they established McKeels Jewelry in 1950. He retired in 2015. He was an outdoorsman who loved hunting and fishing and he was known to be a talented ballroom dancer who spent many years dancing with his wife, Burnell.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Judith McKeel Hardee.

Wallace is survived by his wife of 71 years, Burnell Harrell McKeel; two sons, Wallace McKeel, Jr. and wife Christine of Ahoskie, and Robbin McKeel and wife Lydia of Hampstead, NC; a brother, Ben McKeel and wife Joyce of Newport News, VA; two grandchildren, Taylor McKeel of Knoxville, TN and Trevor McKeel of Hampstead, NC; step-grandson, Lawson Marsh of Ahoskie; and nephew Robyn McKeel.

A celebration of life graveside service will be held on Friday August 31, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at Highland Memorial Gardens, Ahoskie, NC with Reverend Trey Gilliam officiating. The family will receive friends anytime at the home.

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service is handling the arrangements for the McKeel family and online condolences may be directed to them by visiting www.garrettsykesfs.com.