Deacon Alphonso Thomas “Top” Keene departed this life peacefully early Sunday morning, May 13, 2018, at Sentara Careplex Hospital. Alphonso was born in Ahoskie, NC, on March 15, 1938, to the late Nicey Bunch Keene and John Berry Keene, Sr.
Alphonso graduated from C. S. Brown School, served two years in the United States Army, and then worked for Hunter’s Funeral Home in Ahoskie, NC. In 1961, Alphonso married Helen Jordan, relocated to Hampton, VA, and worked as a welder for the Newport News Shipbuilding until retirement.
He was a member and Deacon of Queen Street Baptist Church, where he was highly visible and active until his health began to decline.
“PaPa,” as Alphonso was affectionately called by his grandchildren, was a happy, caring, and loving man. He touched so many people through his patient and peaceful spirit, his wonderful sense of humor, his infectious smile, and heartfelt laughter.
His life was devoted to his family, and he loved his wife, daughters, grandchildren, and son-in-laws dearly. His grandchildren were his pride and joy. “PaPa” will be missed beyond measure.
Alphonso was preceded in death by his parents, Nicey Keene and John B. Keene, Sr. and one sister, Helen Keene. He leaves to cherish his memories, his faithful and devoted wife, Helen J. Keene; two daughters, Violet K. Whiteman (Neville) of Hampton, VA and Veronica K. Brown (Corey) of Carrollton, VA; four grandchildren, Joseph T. Whiteman, Rachel D. Whiteman, Sean A. Brown, and Michelle A. Brown; two sisters, Ethel Hardy and Angela Lucas (James “Pete”), both of Ahoskie, NC, one brother, John Berry Keene, Jr., of Hampton, VA, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and friends.
Viewing will be held on Friday, May 18, 2018, from 5:00pm-7:00pm at Queen Street North Worship Center, 98 N. Armistead Avenue, Hampton, VA.
A Homegoing Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at 1:00pm at Queen Street North Worship Center, with Dr. Corey L. Brown officiating and Rev. Dr. Anderson Clary, Jr. delivering the eulogy.
Entombment with Military Honors will follow at Hampton Memorial Gardens.
It is the desire of the Keene family that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
The family of the late Deacon Keene has entrusted his final care to the staff of C. C. Carter Funeral Home, Inc.