Lee Herbert Keily – February 2, 2012

Lee Herbert Keily, 83, died February 2, 2012 in Amarillo,  Texas.         
 Private family services will be held in El Paso, Texas  and burial will be in the Keily part of the Restlawn Memorial Park  in El Paso. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
 Lee was born on September 17, 1928 to Lucian Earnest Keily and Loma Emily (Cunningham) Keily in El Paso.  Lee attended schools in El Paso and played football at El Paso High.  He was named All District Guard in 1947.  He continued his education at Texas College of Mines, renamed Texas Western College in 1949 (now UTEP) and played the position of tackle on the football team  when TWC won the 1950 Sun Bowl.  When the Korean War started in 1950, Lee joined the Naval Air Corp. He also played the position of guard or tackle on the Goslings Naval Football team, while going through the Naval Air Cadet Program in Pensacola, Florida.  He received his Wings and Commission in February 1953, and was designated a Multi-Engine Pilot and assigned to the Airborne Early Warning Squadron Four in Jacksonville,  Florida.  This squadron was the “Hurricane Squadron” for the United States. This was the time before radar and the planes penetrated the hurricanes at about 300 feet over the water in order to determine the directions and strength of the storm and then when in the eye of the Hurricane, reported their findings to Weather Central Miami in the USA.  Lt. Keily flew into 13 Hurricanes and many numerous storms during his time in this squadron as Plane Patrol Commander.
 After his Naval Service Lee returned to El Paso and received his BBA Degree at Texas Western College while working at Chevron Oil Company.  He continued as a Fuel and Lube Engineer with Chevron through transfers to Silver City, NM, Abilene, Houston, and finally to Amarillo, TX.  In 1976, he and a partner founded Excel Petroleum Corporation.  The main venue was the Excel Fuel Stop on I-40, which was one of the first self-serve truck stops in the US.  Lee served at President, CEO and everything else to make this fueling station such a success.  British Petroleum bought Excel Petroleum Corporation and all it’s operations in 1985.  Lee was active in Texas Oil Marketers (TOMA) and several other Marketing Associations during the Excel connections.  Prior to Excel,  while working  in New Mexico, he was a member of the American Society of Lubrication Engineers, New Mexico Petroleum Industries Committee’s Award for the Outstanding Committee
Man for 1965, and worked for NMPIC as Chairman for the  Field Programs and Chairman for the 1964 School Programs. 
 Lee married his college sweetheart,  Barbara Ann Wright, on December 23, 1952.  There were married for 59 years and had two wonderful children.  David Lee  and Rhonda Louise.  Lee was a devoted father to his children and the joyous and educational vacations were part of this devotion.
Lee and Barbara enjoyed traveling from 1985 through 2007.  A lot of the journeys took them to places to help complete the Genealogy of the Keilys Staats and Wrights.  Their most memorable trips were to Ireland, Scotland, England, New Zealand and Australia. 
Lee was very active as Assistant Scoutmaster with the Webelos  in Houston and later as Assistant Scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 94 at St. Stephen United Methodist Church.  Lee had been an active member of St. Stephen Church for over 40 years, serving on several Church Boards. He was also a member  and supporter of the Pathfinders Sunday School Class. 
 Lee had little time for hobbies but did enjoy fly fishing in Canada and Alaska, golfing at Tascosa Country Club, and working on his pecan farm and mobile home park in the Mesilla Valley near Canutillo,  TX/NM.
Lee was a 62  year Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Texas,  Five Points No. 1137,  El Paso,  Texas.  He also had been a member of the Scottish Rite and Khiva Shrine.  
 Lee is survived by his wife, Barbara.  His son, David Lee Keily, of Guttenberg, NJ.  His daughter, Rhonda Louise Keily Zeutschel  and husband, Kurt, of Issaquah, WA. and four grand-adults.  Caleb Mark Zeutschel, 1st Lt. US Marine Jet Pilot; Sarah Louise Sneesby and husband Aaron of Houston, TX; Kelsey Marie Zeutschel and  Alyssa Jean Zeutschel of Issaquah, WA.  His two brothers:  Ernest L. Keily of El Paso, Russell L. Keily of  Ivanhoe, TX.  His sister, Christine L. Vanderford of Canutillo, TX; three nieces, Linda, Beverly, and Cinda, and nephew, Bradley.
Memorials may be made to your favorite charity, Boys Ranch or to the Pathfinders Sunday School Class Endowment Fund for Missions, c/o St. Stephen United Methodist Church, 4600 S. Western, Amarillo, TX  79109.
 Leave online condolences at www.boxwellbrothers.com

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