James Edward Keal, age 80, a resident of Houston, Texas, died Thursday, August 17, 2006, in Houston.
He was born October, 31, 1925 in Fort Scott, Kansas, the son of Charles Keal and Maude Lockridge Keal.
Following graduation from Fort Scott High School, Jim joined the United States Navy. He served during WWII from 1943 to 1946.
After his service with the Navy, he returned to Fort Scott and graduated from Fort Scott Junior College. He lettered in both football and basketball. His team won the National Basketball Championship in his final year.
On September 11, 1946, he and Carroll Lee Vail were united in holy matrimony, a union of 58 years.
Jim continued his education via the G.I. Bill and an athletic scholarship at Ottawa University, graduating in 1950 with a B.S. in Physical Education. The young couple moved to Lyford, Texas were he coached. During the summer he worked with Exxon and became a full-time employee in the fall, serving in office administration. Thirty-six years later, he retired and the family moved to the Houston area in 1986.
Jim owned his own plane, "Old Blue" which he flew and polished for 20 years. He belonged to a flying club dubbed "Plumb 40" composed of seasoned pilots. Jim was a dedicated family man, he dearly loved his children.
Survivors include his wife, Carroll, of 58 years; three children, James Keal and wife, Fran, Cindy Michalk and husband, Stuart, and Charles Keal and wife, Amy; seven grandchildren, Kristen, Tracy, Kelli, Jamie, Holly, Zach and Hannah; as well as many friends and relatives.
The VFW Chaplain Red Stradley conducted graveside services Monday afternoon at the US National Cemetery in Fort Scott. Military Honors were provided by the Olson Frary Burkhart Post No. 1165 VFW. Services were under the direction of the Cheney Witt Memorial Chapel, 201 S. Main, Fort Scott.