I was just speaking to a friend on yesterday, telling her I had the biggest crush on my 4-H counselor, and wondered whatever happened to him. This is the 2nd or 3rd time that Keenan has ran on my mind, so I decided to Google past 4-H counselors. I thought it may be a long shot as it was so many years ago, and I found this page. My heart is saddened to hear of his passing, and pray for continued peace for his family.
We love and miss you!
I knew Keenan my last few years at Clemson... He was my "Jersey Boy" :+) I don't remember how we met exactly but I will always remember what a genuinely wonderful man he was. He always had the biggest smile on his face! I am honored to know that through me he met his soulmate, Alex. God Bless you All!
I met Keenan over the phone through my little sis, Alex (his soulmate). He was so excited to be with Alex and to be uncle to my new daughter Ayla Isabeau (born 15 May). Keenan and Alex were with me in spirit as she developed and helped me through some tough pregnancy issues. He heard her heartbeat and her kicking as she was growing (and was so excited thought he was going to materialize through the phone line), heard her newborn gurgles, spit ups and her squeaks at a few week of age. Though he did not get a chance to hold her here on Earth, I believe he has 'swung' by to hold his new neice and keep an eye on her. Keena you were a gift to my little Alex and you will be in my heart. Keenan, you made the world a better place...and now you make heaven a better place. Natascha and Ayla
Wow, I am shocked, stunned, and cannot imagine him not smiling wherever he is! Keenan and I met at Camp Bob Cooper and remained close through my years at Clemson. I was lucky enough to reconnect with him a few years ago in Orlando. He shared with me his life's journey so far and it seemed he was on his way to settling down with himself and it was really nice! Just late last fall, we were texting when the Steelers were playing the Jaguars. And the last I heard from him, he was interviewing with our old Camp Director for a new job - which I read that he'd started. I am soooo happy that he found you, Alexandra! I am very sad for your and Keenan's family's loss. He had a way of making everyone around him feel special! I still cannot believe that he's really gone. He will be alive in my memories forever! (There's so many good things to say about Keenan, this little blurb doesn't do it justice.) Take care Keenan - I'm sure you have all of the angels crying while you sing - just like at camp!
I knew Keenan from his time in Atlanta. He had a wonderful smile and a great laugh, he was fun to be around and great at telling tales. I was very sad to hear about his passing. My thoughts go to his family and friends. Sinead
I never met Keenan but Alex was the happiest when she talked about him. My prayers are with both of you!
Keenan lived in our house for a year or so in Atlanta. He was a talented, spunky, funky who always laughed. Our hearts go out to his family and loved ones. Helen and Randy Cabe
Where do you start on something like this? I remember first seeing Keenan and thinking that dude is too cool to be friends with this chubby white boy. But I found out (as most do) that when you first talk to Keenan you realize within about 10 seconds that you have just talked to someone that you feel like you've known for years and more importantly. someone that you want to keep talking to for the rest of your life! Keenan had a way of connecting with people that was unbelievable. He could and did light up every room with his charm, humor, and positivity. He genuinely loved people and had a natural way of making people love him....I know I do. I not only thought I was cooler because I could say "I know Keenan" (which I was)...I got to make music and share the stage with him! How many people get to say that? Musician's that really click become more than just buddies...they become brothers. That is definitely the case with Soul Question. Those days were unforgettable! And Keenan was a MAJOR part of that! His passion, presence, and love shined on and off stage. I could write a book about all of the fun times we had! I know God's plan is perfect so the only thing I can think is that there must have been a stage in heaven that needed a rockstar. Keenan, you are the coolest person I'll probably ever meet! I love you man...and I can't wait to rock out with you when I get there! Just know that many, many people here miss you and love you. You left a positive lasting impression on all of who were fortunate to have known you! From now on, you're my "Man In The Moon" and I'll think of your smiling face every time I look up. Peace brother… “O”
I met Keenen when I was in the 4th grade I think. The James Family had my parents, my brother and me over for dinner. Even though I was 2 years younger he became a great friend. He had a wonderful voice. I was fortunate to sing with him in the Daniel High School chorus. When he was in the band Soul Question with my brother I got to hear then play and I was impressed. I still have the CD and take it out from time to time. I would sometimes randomly run into him when I least expected it, twice in Charlotte at a concert at Amos' and at Alexander Michael's when he worked there. I saw him last time, two Christmas' ago when he stopped by to see my brother. My daughter, who was 1 at the time, took to him instantly. Keenan was a really good person and always had that great smile and a big hug to greet you. I wish I had kept in touch better over the years. He will be greatly missed.
I only met Keenan once when Alexandra brought him to one of our German Stammtisch meetings. I liked him instantly and I am so sorry that he had to leave us so soon. I hope and pray for his Family and Alexandra to find strenght in all the wonderful memories they have. Sincerely,Chris Ferens.
As one of Keenan's fellow staff members at Clemson's Youth Learning Institute in Pickens, I had the pleasure of knowing him only about 2 months. However, because he had an uncanny ability to connect with people instantly, it seemed like we had been close friends for years. His personality, professionalism, intellect, wit, and charm had an immediate, positive impact on the adults and youth that he worked with in his new role. In our lunch conversations, we talked about cherishing the good things and good people in our lives and not letting any of the bad stuff drag us down. He expressed his belief that he was doing the things he was meant to do and loving the people he was meant to love. Although I wish he could be here to do that for a long time to come, I'm grateful for the brief time that I knew him and will cherish his spirit. My thoughts and prayers are with you all... Chris Copeland
I met Keenan through mutal friends at Clemson. He was instantly a close friend of mine. He had a wonderful voice, a beautiful soul and a great smile that could make your heart soar. I am so sad to hear of his passing. He was always there for a laugh, a hug and a shoulder to cry on if necessary. He was one of those people who would really listen and then after all the talking was done he would do his wonderful Louise Armstrong impression and make you forget all your problems and smile. I will forever hold those memories close to my heart.
I first met Keenan and his family in about 1975 I believe. They lived in the house next door to us and we were in the same grade, so we became friends pretty quickly. Between 1975 and 1979 we were pretty much inseparable, and we lived on probably the best street in the whole world (at least it seemed like it). I've always thought of those days as the best times of my life (sad to peak at 7 years old, lol). Anyway, after 1979, my family moved to another part of NJ, then the James family moved to SC, and although we kept in touch a bit for a few years, and even saw each other a couple of times, we eventually lost touch... for 20 years. I caught up with him totally by chance when I did a search for him just for the heck of it on friendster. Pretty much the only time I used that site, and up pops this picture of Keenan, Kyle and Mr. James. Well, we kept in touch a bit after that (this was 2005) and the last time we spoke was earlier this year after he had a short hospital stay. We had talked about hanging out down there one of these days, but that never happened... too busy of course... and now it's too late. I guess that will teach me not to procrastinate when it comes to friends. I'm glad he had so many friends, and that he found Alex. I hope & pray that she, along with Mr & Mrs. James, and Kirstyn will be ok.
I am so shocked and deeply saddened. I lost touch with Keenan a couple of years ago, but we worked together and he made me laugh right out loud, so often. Whenever I picture him I see that great big smile. He helped me through some very rough times and helped keep me strong and I will always be indebted to him for that. I miss his sweet face. How lucky I am for us to have been friends. I am so happy that he found love and was loved. Tonia Roe
Anyone who wants to sign the guestbook for Keenan, the link is http://www.legacy.com/independentmail/Obituaries.asp?Page=Lifestory&PersonId=111890617. Thank you!
I shared this bit of wisdom with Romando during Keenan funeral. For those of us who are facing this lost and any other turmoil in our lives, I thought it would be worth sharing, even committing to memory. From philosopher, James Allens book, As A Man Thinketh: A man only begings to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile, and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates his life. And as he adapts his mind to that regulating factor, he ceases to accuse others as the cause of his condition, and builds himself up in strong and noble thoughts; ceases to kick against circumstances, but begins to use them as aids to his more rapid progress, and as a means of discovering the hidden powers and possibilities within himself. In my life I have found that a calm acceptance of what is empowers me to determine what I shall be. Stay strong. Love stronger. Poiette
I met Keenan at Camp Bob Cooper when I was debating for the Marion County 4-H Program. His father, Dr. Romando James introduced us. We bonded immediately. We hung out at camp, sang and laughed together. We did not see each other anymore after we graduated in '87 but Romando kept us connected. He keeps all of us Clemson Extention kids connected. I want to say to those of us who shared those special days at Camp Bob Cooper that we need to pick up the mantel and try to reach out to one another. To Romando, Mrs. Elouise, Kirstyn, Alex and the entire James family, please know that I love you and you are in my prayers, now and always. Poiette McGill Bromell Marion, South Carolina
I feel that I have met you Keenan in knowing your knowing your earthly Father Dr. R. James just as yourself touch the lives of many with you give of intelligence. In that gift of intelligence stem what that of singing and plus. I glad that you had your encounter with God for that experience being a stem for what is a time with God in eternity (your heavenly Father). May God's perfect love ever embrace the family. sharon
No one had the relationship like me and him he was the one who made you smile when there was no one there to make you smile. He was the one who made you laugh when it wasn't time to laugh. He was always there for my when i was at my weak points in life. So here i say i LOVE my Uncle Keenan and he may not be here physically but he is still here spiritally and he is especially in my heart for the rest of my life.
Keenan and I bonded the first time we met. :) He will always be one of my favorites. Alex, you had one of the few "good guys" left. This night was the night that he made Alex get up and go to the other end of the table so he could tell me how head over heels in love with her he was. He was dying to know how she felt about him - I assured him that I was sick and tired of hearing about Keenan, Keenan, Keenan. I think I made his night!! :) Alex, I'm right there with you looking forward to the day we can see him again in Heaven. Love to you both!!
I was tasked with training Keenan on his first day of work at Nick's. As I was showing him in great detail how to toast the bread just right, he asked if I was always going to be such a pain in the butt. I simply replied, "Yeah, I'm from Philly". He started laughing and clapping his hands and dancing around the kitchen and declared that we were forever going to be friends. That was 12 years ago. I will never forget bartender happy hour, running around in E & K's racing whites, forcing him to carve a pumpkin, roof top dancing in Atlanta, my twin dancing in Atlanta, Monday night study class, my stolen ring, his hair ties and the advice that he gave me about love and life. Forever you will be with me.
People tell you that the best days of your life will be those spent in college. Of course getting married, having children, and other major events in your life exceed those individually but pound for pound the years spent with Keenan were some of the greatest moments - Keenan had the ability to keep people laughing wherever he was and the other SQ boys had the ability to give back to him. This guy lit the room in charisma, comedy, talent, positivity, and best of all love. As a bandmate, you have to be brothers, and we were all just that - inseparable during the SQ days. Try to imagine all of the memories that accumulate across the time together..Here's a few.. Atlanta Georgia...Period. Late nights at Nick's. Overyonder Lane. My 24th Birthday. Converse College Party. Mexican Restaurant start. Jagermeister. Pookie. Charlie T's. Clemson Football. Isaqueena Trail. Club Fusion. Spider Monkey. Just to name a few.... I hope those who read these will be triggered to remember back to the times and places and smile from how funny and amazing Keenan really was...God Bless
KEENAN was a total rock star in my mind from the first second i laid eyes on him . his image was relentless and i was fortunate enough to share the stage with him through the best years of my life while playing in soul question. thank god eric lander introduced us one week night in front of tiger town. keenan inspired me musically to no end i still find myself writing riffs and wondering what he would he would put over the top of them to me keenan was the stage show after show i would find myself watching him rather than the crowd the passion he portrayed in his stage presence was like no other and i was fortunate to have the best seat in the house keenan was a brother to me and every note i play from here on out will be dedicated to him and the soul he brought to me i will never forget him singing "so sad" in backstreets one night bar none the best vocals i ve ever heard any time any where keenan brought a tremendous joy to my life that words can never express thanks for the chance you gave me i will always keep them close to my heart dee grist
Keenan and I met when I lived in Clemson about 10 years ago. We met through mutual friends, but I also knew his father, Dr. James, when I covered the university for the Greenville newspaper. Many a night, Niel, Rich and Keenan and I would sit around trying to solve the problems of the world. Keenan and I (I think) seemed like the only two black people in town who had dreadlocks :). His was a sweet soul. I am sorry that we lost touch. Alex, God bless you for having the time you had with him.
I meet Keenan while he was working at Panera and we had an instant connection. He quickly became not only my friend, but counselor . He helped me through a very difficult time during the beginning of the year and checked on me regularly. He pushed me to follow my dreams and break down barriers that stood in my way. He told me "You only go this way once, make the most of it." It is because of Keenan that I am now on my way to become a pilot in the USAF. Thank you Keenan- my guardian angel. Until we meet again- love you!
Me and Keenan lived in a trashy apartment in Clemson. In the best of our traditions after a drunken night out over shots of Jager and poorly air conditioned bars, he said he needed a place to live and I said sure. I had known him about six hours, but it's all I needed know he was good people. My dog Mars peed on Keenan's comforter twice and he didn't say a word about it. He just trudged to the washing machine and threw it in. We used to spend long nights out after work, nightswimming, drinking, having fun and just being young in general. He was good at it. If you couldn't have fun with Keenan, you might have some social problems. He was the master of guiding the night, making the most of it, dwelling on the funny, uplifting and positive. Nobody grabbed a good time and held on like Keenan. I used to leave him long involved handwritten notes and spell his name Keennann, he thought that was funny. I hope. Keenan and me would sit and watch college football for hours. I once told him that I watched the noon game, 3:30 game and seven o'clock game all one after the other. He looked at me quizzically as if that was normal. He used to refer to himself as a "black duck." As in, "this Black Duck ain't going near that guy." His Steelers won. His patented line was "here's a question..." and he would go off on a tangent about this or that the whole time reminding us of the thick social situation we lived in. This always led to interesting conversation. Keenan paid me my deepest compliment, but i'll keep it to myself. He was the greatest rock star I ever knew.
I got to know Keenan very well while at Clemson. We met my freshman year through Stacey Wagner and remained close over the years. "Birthday Buddies" became a fun nickname between us as our birthday's were only a day apart. My Leo buddy Keenan will be remembered in my heart forever.
Keenan and I met as counselors at 4-H Camp Bob Cooper several years ago and the memories of those two summers still bring a huge smile to my face. Keenan was always a joy to be around and never let things bother him. He kept us all uplifted and going strong when we thought that we couldn't take another day of the Hot SC Summer! Keenan was a talented individual in many ways and he even was gracious enough to share his God's gifted voice at my wedding. I feel blessed to know Keenan in the short time that he was on this earth. I am sorry for your loss and may God's grace shower love and comfort on his friends and family.
I was so very blessed to have Keenan as my friend. I never quite knew what to expect when I picked up the phone when he called! I loved his energy, loyalty, and his love for everyone. Keenan knew no strangers. I will forever miss you and have you always in my heart!!! I love you Keenan very much!
I grew up with Keenan and was so sad to hear the news. We were pals as Camp Bob Cooper 4-H Camp Counselors for two summers of our lives and as high school singing buddies. He was a special soul...everyone loved Keenan. I am so sorry for your loss Julie Koonce Morris
Keenan was a great friend. I only knew him for about a year and a half, but during that time I would see him almost daily. He was always smiling and friendly, and as time went by he became a caring friend. He has made a lasting impact on my life as well and he will be missed. My deepest condolences to his parent, his family , and to Alex. I am so glad that he found someone that made him so happy.
I'm so sorry Melissa for your loss. You are in my prayers. Many hugs and lots of love sent your way. WendyK
Keenan was as an acquaintance of mine from Nick's. I remember him as unfailingly friendly, good-humored, charming, and sweet. I'll never forget when, shortly after unwillingly (as a result of health reasons) getting my hair cut at age 38 and feeling very insecure about it, I went to Nick's. Keenan looked up and instantaneously exclaimed, "You look 22!" I've always appreciate that compliment because it came when I really needed it; more importantly, though, it says a lot about Keenan. It was my experience that he enjoyed making people feel good, and that is a worthy goal.