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Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Alice Lou Rena Bates Keener

Alice Lou Rena Bates Keener

She was born March 20, 1937, to be a caregiver, a nurse, a servant.  Her parents named her Alice, which means noble and kind. Raised in humble conditions along the Caddo River, she was the middle child of 6 girls and 1 boy.  When she was a young girl, her father died suddenly.  Her older siblings had left home so her mother depended on her to help carry the load for her family.  Alice graduated Norman High School in 1954, and went on to attend nursing school in Little Rock where she earned her RN license.  Her first job was with Polk County Hospital then on to be an RN for many area doctors including Hefiner, Rogers, Austin, Stephens, Sessler and Mr. Ulmer.

On February 22, 1958 she married J.W. “Jay” Keener.  The couple lived and raised their three children, Terry, Beth and BIlly in Potter, AR.

Jay and Alice were well known on the dance floor as they loved to attend the Western Swing Events held in various counties each Saturday night.  If you knew Alice, most likely you have something that she made as she kept her hands busy crocheting and knitting.  Many hangers, house shoes, baby blankets, potholders and dish rags were made and she loved to share them with everyone.

Alice was a charter member of the Potter Volunteer Fire Department.  She was a very dedicated worker, secretary for many years and responsible for organizing the annual Easter Bake Sale that was a huge success as well as the main fund raiser.

She was an active member and church secretary of Bethel Baptist Church in Potter.

Alice is preceded in death by her husband, Jay, her parents, Walter Bates and Cora Bates Standrige, her siblings, Ruby Edwards, Lake Bates, Georgia Holman, and Shelba McMellon. Her brothers Alton Keener, Rush Keener and sister Daphane Heisch.

She is survived by her children, Terry and Rita Keener, Beth and Dewayne Scott and Billy and JoAnn Keener.  Grand Children, Maggie and John Hendrix, Lacie and Justin Thomas, Christopher and Krista Womack, Michael and Gabby Clark and 12 great grandchildren.  Sisters, Edna King, Connie Bates, Sharon Wiles and Cordellia Keener. A host of nieces and nephews who each loved her dearly.

Graveside service will be Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at the Rocky Cemetery with Brother Keith Rose officiating.  Services are under the direction of the Beasley-Wood Funeral Home.

Visitation is general.

Pallbearers are Richard Walters, Tim McMellon, Steve McMellon, Victor Rowell, Christopher Womack and Michael Clark.  Honorary pallbearers will be John Hendrix, Justin Thomas, John Wiles and Glen McLellan.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Polk County Senior Center.

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