George Lane Keeter, a Heber Springs resident since 1965, peacefully passed away Monday, May 27, 2013, at the home he enjoyed with his wife Bette and their family since 1972.
He was a faithful and long-time member of First Baptist Church. Through the years, he served the church as a member of the choir, member and chairman of the Stewardship Committee and administrator when the Church was without a pastor.
George was an entrepreneur and business owner. He owned and operated Cleburne County Lumber Company, later Cleburne County Building Center, from September 1965 until he sold it in November 1997. He was well-known for an intense focus on customer service for both the building contractor and the do-it-yourself homeowner.
In the community, George served as a member of the Heber Springs Water and Sewer Commission, the Board of Directors of the First National Bank of Cleburne County, and the Jaycees, among other local organizations.
Born on June 15, 1934, in Gassville, Ark., to Harmon Ewell and Connis Huddleston Keeter, George graduated from Mountain Home High School in 1951. In 1955, he graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity where he served as president. George attended the University of Sydney in Australia for one year on a Rotary Foundation Scholarship, studying economics and international law. He received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Arkansas in 1957.
After his graduate studies, he served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force as a navigator and electronic warfare officer.
While stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss., he met Bette Chancey of Union Springs, Ala., who at the time was a student at Gulf Park College for Women in nearby Gulfport. They married and after a brief time living in Mountain Home, settled in Heber Springs.
His wife Bette and parents Harmon and Connis passed away prior to him. He leaves behind oldest son George “Lane” Keeter, Jr., from Heber Springs, his wife Denise and their children Catherine (Dallas, Texas), Trip and Chancey; youngest son Brian Chancey Keeter from Auburn, Ala.; brother Gary from Benton; numerous nieces, nephews and in-laws; and long-time family friend and caregiver to Bette and George, Debra Smith.
Visitation is scheduled for Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church. The funeral is Thursday at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church followed by gravesite services at Cleburne County Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to First Baptist Church of Heber Springs.