Edna Frances Jeanette Keel, 88, of Neptune, NJ transitioned to heaven on February 9, 2020 surrounded by her family at Coral Harbor Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Neptune City, NJ. She was born on December 24th, 1931 in Neptune, NJ to Eldridge and Jeanette Garrett.
Frances attended Ridge Avenue School in Neptune, and graduated from St. Rose High School, in Belmar, NJ. At the age of 20, she met and married the love of her life, the late Moses V. Keel, on September 26, 1952. Frances was employed by Bell Telephone Company for many years, and she also worked for Asbury Park Head Start Program prior to giving birth to her six adoring children. They were her life’s mission.
She was loved by many and dedicated her life to caring for her children, as well as others. She served as a class mother and PTA member for many years, and was well known for the kindness she shared with all whom she encountered. She took pride in being everyone’s “unofficial” mother and grandmother throughout the years.
Frances was a member of the former St. Peter Claver Parish in Asbury Park, NJ where she served as a Lector and a Eucharistic Minister. She also worked alongside her husband at the family restaurant, “Moe’s Greenhouse Luncheonette”. She loved crafting such as hat making, ceramics and sewing. Frances was also an avid gardener and had a natural green thumb, and spent many hours planting beautiful flowers that were admired by many people.
She was known for her legendary “Mac and Cheese” and numerous desserts, such as Carrot Cake, German Chocolate Cake, Cheesecake and Peach Cobbler, to name a few. She exhibited her love for music by singing in the choir, and was a soloist during midnight mass. She would be most remembered by her creative rendition of “How Great Thou Art” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which could be heard throughout the corridors of Coral Harbor Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center. She was as spiritual as she was religious, and she enjoyed a good laugh.
Frances was predeceased by her devoted husband of 66 years, Moses V. Keel; daughter, Denise Keel Penick; parents, Eldridge and Jeanette Garrett; and one brother, Eldridge Hannibal Garrett.
She leaves to cherish her memory, two sons, Garry (Lenora) of Ewing, NJ, and Varnell (Carmen) of Edison, NJ; three daughters, Jacqueline (Michael) Brantley, Kyle Joy and Frances Maria Keel, of Neptune, NJ; adoring grandchildren, Gregory (Jessica) Keel, Taylor and Jordan Dow, Madeline and Maya Keel; great-grandchildren, Jamison and Emery Keel; sisters, Evelyn Middleton and Elaine (Wayne) Thomas; brothers, Errington (Barbara) Garrett, Edward Garrett, James (Veronica) Garrett, John Douglas (Naomi) Garrett, and Joseph (Vanessa) Garrett; along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
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