CO-OWNER OF SPORTS VILLAGE
LEBANON — Despite losing a long and continuous battle against cancer on Thankgiving Day, Lebanon businessman Johnny Keel and his family have ensured his fight will continue as those who wish to remember him are being asked to make financial contributions to Sherry’s Run or First United Methodist Church.
Mr. Keel, 61, who owned Sports Village in Lebanon along with his wife Peggy, died Nov. 25, 2010. Funeral services are to be held today at noon at First United Methodist Church.
His friends remember him as a “never give up type of guy.” He fought colon cancer for most of the past 10 years or so but never gave up and never quit having an optimistic attitude about his struggle his friends say.
Mr. Keel was an instrumental leader and participant in Sherry’s Run, an annual event held on the Castle Heights Campus as a fundraiser to help those dealing with cancer. As a result of his close association with Sherry’s Run, donations are sought for the charity in his memory as well as for First United Methodist church where he was a member.
A native of Ballinger, Texas, he was born Aug. 1, 1949 to Gene and Nell Reynolds Keel. Mr. Keel graduated from the University of Texas in 1972 and opened Johnny Keel’s Northwest Fitness Centers in 1979.
The longest serving fitness centers in Austin, Texas, he owned the successful business until 1999. After selling his business, he worked for many years with his wife at Sports Village in Lebanon, serving as Co-Owner and General Manager.
An avid golfer for most of his life, he played briefly for the University of Texas. As an accomplished amateur, he won the prestigious Devlin Trophy; finished second in the Harvey Penick Invitational; ranked in the Top Five of the Austin City Championship three straight years; and was Five Oaks Senior Champion in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
He was a member of the Rotary Club of Lebanon, in which he was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow.
Visitation is at 10 a.m., Wednesday, at the church. Funeral services will be conducted by Dr. Martin Thielen.
Survivors include: his wife, Peggy Keel, who was his friend, soulmate and the love of his life.
He is also survived by his son Todd Keel, of Dallas, Texas; and sister, Genie (Mike) Vogler, of Georgetown, Texas; stepchildren Jeff (Nicole) McMillen of Lebanon and Laura Jill (Andrew) Trantum of Hendersonville; grandchildren Gavin and Liam McMillen and Rylee Laine Trantum; nieces Aimee (Michael) Moyer of Austin, Texas and Kelli (Chris) Wilder of Lago Vista, Texas; sisters-in-law Elaine (Charles) Bell of Lebanon and Nancy (Frank) Eubank of Hermitage; nephews Jack (Meleia) Bell and Rick Bell — both from Lebanon; great nieces Chloe Moyer, Phoebe Moyer and Madison Wilder; and great nephews Benjamin Wilder, Bronson Bell and Weston Bell.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Stephanie. He also witnessed the passing of his in-laws J.W. and Frances Vanhook.
Active pallbearers: Jack Bell, Rick Bell, Bob Black, Cary Crawford and Larry Keller — all of Lebanon; Don Cockerham and Powell Thompson — both of Austin; Billy Hale of San Antonio, Texas; and Terry Jack Rucker of Lubbock, Texas.
Members of the Sports Village staff and members of the Rotary Club of Lebanon will serve as honorary pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, memorials should be directed to Sherry’s Run or the First United Methodist Church in Lebanon.
Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home of Lebanon in charge of arrangements.
You can talk smack about them
By BECKY ANDREWS
Around this time of year when extended family members prepare to convene on our households, Angel and I participate in a spirited game of, ‘I can out do you’ or it’s more commonly referred to name,
‘Who has the nuttiest little family’. The conversation usually revolves around whose parent, grandparent, or other relative had the most success at humiliating us or making puberty more awkward than it already was. Because we both come from fairly outspoken people, the contest is always close.
This is usually how the conversations go:
Angel: “I had to sleep on a camp bed for a year in Greece!”
Me: “I was a Jehovah’s Witness until 6th grade.”
Score- Becky- 1, Angel-0
Dear Ken: Where have I seen the actress who plays Lily on “How I Met Your Mother”?
That’s Alyson Hannigan, 36, whom I bet you recognized from her role as Michelle Flaherty in three “American Pie” movies (“Pie” No. 4 may be served in 2012) or it could have been from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” where she played Willow Rosenberg. The actress, who was born in Washington, D.C., began working at age 4 in TV commercials in Atlanta and has a 1½-year-old daughter with her husband, actor Alexis Densiof.
By ANGEL KANE
The holidays are in full swing! From colorful light displays to holiday décor to Christmas music being played all day-everyday, it’s definitely Christmas in the county and Wilson Living Magazine couldn’t be happier about it.
The ladies of Wilson Living love every minute of the Christmas season and plan to be at many of the local holiday events sharing the season with our fellow neighbors.
By KEN BECK
Special to The Wilson Post
MT. JULIET—It’s been a bit of a secret, but a chip off the old block known as Music Row moved to Mt. Juliet in 2006 when Mike and Martha Borchetta relocated here with their independent label, Lofton Creek Records.
The Borchetta touch proved golden practically the day they opened their Wilson County office when the group Heartland hit No. 1 in the country charts with “I Loved Her First.”
It would have been no surprise to those who know Mike’s history in pop and country music as his career borders on the half-century mark. In the early 1990s, Mike signed unknown singer Tim McGraw to a record deal and promoted Hal Ketchum’s song, “Small Town Saturday Night,” to the No. 1 country song of the year, while in the early 1960s in Los Angeles, he was promoting the talents of The Four Seasons,
The Beach Boys and Wayne Newton, among others.
By Commissioner GERALD NICELY
Tennessee Department of Transportation
Tennessee Department of Transportation recently opened a new section of State Route 840, the highway that makes a half circle south of Nashville connecting I-40 in Lebanon, I-65 and I-24. While the entire State Route 840 is not yet complete, this particular project is symbolic of the dramatic changes TDOT has implemented over the last several years in an effort to become better stewards of the environment. While many of those changes were focused on actual road construction, we have also seen monumental improvements in virtually every aspect of the department’s work.
The controversy over the last sections of SR 840 led to the launch of the Context Sensitive Solutions process, which forms valuable partnerships between TDOT and the citizens of Tennessee. CSS is now being used on a number of large projects across the state.
CHRISTMAS FOR ALL
By PATRICK HALL, The Wilson Post
Volunteers and toys are on the wish list for Wilson County Christmas for All as they open their warehouse and begin helping families and children in need throughout Wilson County.
Alan Ricketts, president of Christmas for All, said the warehouse opened yesterday and they’re beginning to look over applications and fill orders.
“I think we’re well ahead of where we were this time last year,” Ricketts said in terms of applications received. He said they’ve received 2,373 applications so far. The organization received 3,094 applications in total in 2009.
BYARS-DOWDY HIT LAST WEEK
By JENNIFER HORTON & TOMMY BRYAN
The Wilson Post
Lebanon Police are investigating a number of break-ins and thefts that have occurred in the past week or so at local schools. The latest school to have been broken into was Byars-Dowdy Elementary School.
Chief Scott Bowen said a police officer first checked on the school early in the morning and went back sometime later and discovered a window had been pried open.
The thief, or thieves, took electronic equipment, in particular computer equipment, as well as at least two big screen televisions. “This is the fourth one in the past week,” Bowen said of the school break-in.
Daughter, father named Grand Marshals
Wilson County residents Mike Jones, former Tennessee Titans football player, and his daughter, CoCo Jones, a finalist in Disney’s “Next Big Thing,” have been named the 2010 Grand Marshals for the annual Lebanon Christmas Parade.
The parade, sponsored by the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce, will begin at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 5. The theme this year is “Wilson County Christmas, The Place to Be.”
LEBANON -- One night, two victories. Cumberland’s basketball teams pulled off a doubleheader sweep Monday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center as the CU ladies dumped Bryan College 62-45 followed by their male counterparts knocking off Talladega 71-68.
The CU women are back in action Thursday as they visit Bryan in Dayton at 5 p.m. The Bulldogs will be off until December 14 when they travel to Kentucky Wesleyan in their last contest of the calendar year.
CU 62, Bryan 45 women -- Casie Cowan hit four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 18 points in Cumberland’s 62-45 victory over Bryan College in women’s basketball action Monday at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center. Cumberland (5-3) started game with a 12-1 run and led by 13 at the half.
But the Lions (5-4) scored eight straight points in the middle of the second half, including four from Anna Thomas, to climb within 43-34 with 10:12 remaining in the game. Cumberland answered with a 10-2 spurt, with Ashley Whitmore and Jessica Pace scoring all 10 points for CU.
The Lady Bulldogs pulled away from there, with Pace scoring 11 of her 15 points in the second half.
CU 71, Talladega 68 men -- Lindal Yarbrough and Walter Simon took over the second half and Yarbrough blocked a potential game-tying 3-pointer with six seconds remaining to lift Cumberland to a 71-68 win over Talladega Monday at the Floyd Center.
In a game that featured six ties and a dozen lead changes, including one with 43 seconds left on the second-half clock when Yarbrough made the first of two free throws.
CU (3-5) snapped a four-game losing streak with the victory. Coach Lonnie Thompson’s squad was never able to extend the gap any further than four points after battling back from 11 early in the second half.
Trailing by eight at the break, Cumberland got buckets from Yarbrough and Walter Simon and allowed just a free throw in the first minute to cut the deficit to five.
Yarbrough’s 20 led all scorers, while Simon (18-9) missed a double-double by one rebound. Kyle Upton had 16 points, while Lamar Brinkley snagged 13 boards.
Wilson Central High’s Jackson Redditt will join nearly 100 of the state’s top high school senior football players in the fourth annual Toyota Tennessee East - West All-Star Classic at Carson Newman College.
Kickoff for the game is scheduled for Saturday, December 11, at 11:30 (CST) in Jefferson City. The Toyota East - West game is the only all-star game in Tennessee to be televised live across the state.
Redditt (6-2, 190) will play for the West squad which is coached this year by Chris Wiley of Arlington High School. Redditt will handle both the kicking and punting chores for the West team.
As a senior at Wilson Central, Redditt knocked down field goals of 56, 50 and 47 yards. As a junior he drilled a 51 and a 50-yarder. Eighteen of his 22 kickoffs were touchbacks. He punted 44 times for an average of 40.5 yards with a long punt of 65 yards.
This year’s list of players includes six players committed to sign with Southeastern Conference schools. three Duke commitments and a number of other Division I schools including Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech and Syracuse.