Chester Keene

Jerseyville |

Rev. Chester Wayne Keene, 74, of Jerseyville, Illinois passed away peacefully at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri at 7:41pm, April 26, 2024. Chester went home to be with the Lord surrounded by his beloved wife and three sons.

Chester was born on September 5, 1949, in Alton, Illinois. He was the middle son of Ralph William Keene, Sr. and Norma Dean (Walker) Keene.

Chester graduated from Jersey Community High School with the class of 1967. He graduated from Clark Memorial College with an Associate degree in 1969 and was formally ordained as a Southern Baptist minister later that same year. 

Chester married Mary Jane Miller on January 28, 1971 at State Street Baptist Church in Jerseyville, with the Rev. L.E. Hutchinson officiating. He would then serve honorably in the United States Air Force from 1971-1973 and with the Illinois Air National Guard from 1973-1976.

Chester went to work for McDonnell-Douglas Corporation through the late ‘70’s, then decided to continue his education. He graduated from Hannibal-LaGrange College with a Bachelor of Theology degree in 1981 and then obtained his Master of Education in Social Work from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in 1983. Chester would go on to lead several churches through the years as a bi-vocational pastor and Deacon, as well as positions as a social worker focused on at-risk youth. He also served as a Chaplain with Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief and was deployed to several disaster areas across the country. Chester retired in 2006 after 18 years at the Ford Assembly Plant in Hazelwood, Missouri and recently retired as the pastor of Otterville Baptist Church in Otterville, Illinois. Chester and Mary Jane were also members of Faith Baptist Church in Carrollton, Illinois.  

Although Chester was highly involved in serving the needs of others, his priority and greatest joy was the care, support, and encouragement of his wife and their sons.  Chester is survived by his wife of 53 years, Mary Jane, as well as their three sons: along with their wives and children.

  • Charles Wayne Keene, EdD (wife Misty) of Swisher, Iowa. They are the parents of Sean, Lydia, and Nathan Keene.
  • Anthony Eugene Keene, MBA (wife April) of Marion, Illinois. They are the parents of Andrew (wife Emily) of Kirksville, Missouri, Alyson and Anna Keene, and Dallas Tilinski.
  • Gary Lee Keene, A.A.S. (wife Jamie) of St. Louis, Missouri. They are the parents of Ollie Keene.

In addition to his wife, children, and grandchildren, Chester is survived by one brother, Patrick Keene (wife Mary) of Orem, Utah and one aunt, Shirley Dooley of Alton, Illinois. Chester is also survived by several cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Chester was preceded in death by his parents, brother Ralph William Keene, Jr., his father and mother-in-law Charles and Bertha Miller, brother-in-law Marine PFC Frank Miller (KIA Vietnam), and sisters-in-law Margaret (Maggie) Keene and Rebecca (Becky) Kallal.

Chester loved and served his family and the Lord with all that he had within him and has now heard his Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.

Visitation and Memorial Service for Chester will be held at Crawford Funeral Home in Jerseyville with the visitation from 5-8pm, Friday, May 3, 2024, and the memorial service to be held at 10am, Saturday, May 4, 2024. The Rev. Dan Lovin will officiate.  Graveside services will be held at Oak Grove Cemetery in Jerseyville and a reception will be held afterwards for family and friends at Your Event Space in Jerseyville. Memorials may be made out to Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief.

Obit Provided By:
Crawford Funeral Home

Print Version

Join our mailing list Subscribe to our Daily Update
200 W. Third Street | Alton, IL 62002
Suite 200
HOME  |   Advertise With Us  |   Job Opportunities  |   Our Partners  |   Web Design Services  |   Contact US  |   Site Map   |  RSS Feeds  |  Email   |  Privacy Policy