Bob Keever, Jr. ’51

James Robert “Bob” Keever Jr., whose Christian faith and love for others defined his life, passed away April 30, 2018, after a long illness.

From 1975-84, he was pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Wooster.

Born Nov. 7, 1929, in Charlotte, N.C., he was the son of James Robert Keever Sr. and Susan Alexander.

Bob graduated from high school in Charlotte and earned a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College in 1951. He briefly attended Duke University, but after receiving his call to ministry entered the Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned his master of divinity degree.

He earned his master of theology degree from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., and a doctor of ministry degree from the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, Calif.

He began his career in the ministry in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. as a pastor in Charlottesville, Va., and later served churches in McLean, Va., Tuscaloosa, Ala., Wooster, Crawfordsville, Ind. and Chapel Hill, N.C. During his career, he was a passionate advocate in support of civil and human rights for all persons, and for the rights and dignity of mentally disabled persons.

He spent the final 12 years of his life as a resident of Croasdaile Village Retirement Community in Durham, N.C.

Bob was devoted to his wife, Ellen H. Keever, who preceded him in death in 2012, after a loving marriage which spanned 58 years. He was also devoted to his family, and loved their many gatherings at the family vacation house on Claytor Lake, Va.

Surviving are his children and their spouses, Cynthia D. Keever of Asheville, N.C., Robert Keever and Claudia Chaten of Mechanicsville, Va., Wythe and Sandy Keever of Harrisburg, Pa., Graham and Mary Jane Keever of Fletcher, N.C., and Laura and Olin Brimberry of Raleigh, N.C. He is also survived by grandchildren, Makahla and Caitlin Stout of Asheville, N.C., Charles, Mary and Annie Keever of Richmond, Va., Megan Keever Rivera of Torrance, Calif., Ryan and Adam Keever of Fletcher, N.C., and Lillian, Olin and Lucile Brimberry of Raleigh, N.C.; and a great-granddaughter, Kelly Rivera of Torrance, Calif.

Memorial services will held at First Presbyterian Church of Durham, N.C., on Monday, May 21 at 2 p.m. Graveside services will be held in Round Hill Cemetery in Marion, Va., later in the summer.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 305 E. Main St., Durham, N.C. 27701; or The Southern Poverty and Law Center at