Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 6, 2013

Rodney W. “Rod” Keesling


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Rodney W. “Rod” Keesling, 85, of Forrest Oaks in Princeton, passed away Saturday, February 2, 2013, in the arms of his loving wife, of 35 years, Daisy and in the presence of his son Michael. Born September 8, 1927, in McDowell County, W.Va., he was the second son of the late Everett Luther Keesling and Hazel Jane Sale Keesling.

Rod grew up and attended school in Bramwell prior to going to high school at Augusta Military Academy in Fort Defiance, Virginia. After graduation, Rod attended Concord College in Athens before being called to serve in the Air Force at the end of World War II. While stationed in Guam, Rod was introduced to the construction business as he was assigned to the rebuilding of officer's quarters and other damaged structures.

Upon completion of his military service, Rod continued his education at WVU in Morgantown before returning home to help operate the family theater business. The theater business included such area landmarks as the Colonial Theater in Bluefield and The Skyway Drive-In Theater in Bluewell. In 1954, Rod decided to delve into the development industry and started Lyndon Terrace Subdivision in Waynesboro, Va.

In 1966, Rod started Keesling Construction and Realty in Princeton and proceeded to develop Boulder Park Subdivision. He then partnered with Appalachian Power Company to develop the areas first mobile home park, Village Green in Princeton. He then followed by developing Village Glen Subdivision in Princeton. As the real estate business continued to grow, Rod developed Quail Valley Subdivision in Princeton followed by Oakland Terrace in Glenwood, Pinehill Park in Athens, Lakeland Park in Glenwood, and Quailwood in Princeton. Rod then established the areas first Townhouse Community known as Quail Valley Manor. In recognition of this project, Rod received the “Best New Subdivision” award by the West Virginia Builders Association.

Rod continued his life long journey by developing Brierwood and Deerfield Subdivisions in Bluefield, Va., along with Wyndale Estates in Princeton and the Villas at Lake View in Glenwood. Along with his many developments, Rod's other accomplishments include the building of numerous homes and commercial properties in the area. He was among the founders and a charter member of the Mercer County Board of Realtors and the Southern West Virginia Home Builders Association.

He was a devoted member of First Baptist Church of Princeton and as a member of the church's property committee, Rod supervised the renovation of the church. He had recently relinquished his everyday duties of running Keesling Construction but remained active in the planning and development processes. With his new found free time, Rod had worked tirelessly on his ever improving golf game.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his only brother, Donald M. Keesling.

Rod is survived by his wife, Daisy Walker Keesling of Princeton; son, Michael B. Jacobs Jr. and wife Laura K. of Bluefield, Va.; daughters, Vickie Bishop and husband Roger of Limestone, Tenn., Katherine Neilsen of Florida, Connie Keesling of Norfolk, Va., and Christie L. Bailey and husband Christopher R. of Princeton; six grandchildren, Taylor Brooke Bailey, Michael Brandon Jacobs, Tyler Miles Murray, Taryn Leigh Bailey, Sarah Charlotte Jacobs, and Elise Catherine Jacobs.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, February 7, 2013, at First Baptist Church in Princeton with Dr. David Dockery officiating, organist Dawn Sigmon, and soloist Earl Davis. Burial will follow in Roselawn Memorial Gardens in Princeton. Honorary pallbearers Joseph M. Sanders Jr., Richard Copeland, Robert Crowder, and Richard W. “Buzzy” Wilkinson. Pallbearers Denton Milsaps, Earl Davis, Stuart Sigmon, Frank Wilkinson, Mori Williams, and Tommy Peyton.

A time of visitation will be from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 6, 2013, at First Baptist Church in Princeton.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, Faithful to Mission Fund, 1116 Mercer Street, Princeton, WV  24740, or Appalachian Teen Challenge, 1651 Unity Road, Princeton, WV  24739.

Online condolences may be made by visiting www.seaverfuneralservice.com

The Keesling family is being served by Seaver Funeral Home in Princeton.