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Charles Stephen Keelen
October 30, 1949 ~ June 23, 2023 (age 73) 73 Years Old
Charles Stephen Keelen, 73, of Belvidere, Illinois went to heaven on June 23rd, 2023. Steve was born on October 30, 1949. His parents were Harley and Birdine Neal of Belle Rive, Illinois. He married his best friend and high school sweetheart Judy (Barton) Keelen on July 28th, 1973.
Steve graduated from Northern Illinois University with an MBA. He committed his career to agribusiness, working as a farm manager at KB Farms in Boone County, Illinois, as an area manager and agronomist at ConServ FS, and as a partner of Illinois Agland Services. For Steve, farming was a pattern of resurrection, where his faith and skills intersected, drawing him closer to our creator God. Steve was a Vietnam Veteran of the United States Army Services.
Steve was faithful to his church and cherished his children and grandchildren. He devoted his retirement years to spending time with his precious grandchildren, riding his motorcycle, and taking road trips with his wife. He was an avid reader and enjoyed working in his gardens. He was a loving person who knew how to make you feel loved and valued. He will always be remembered for his generosity and compassion.
He is survived by his wife Judy Barton Keelen; his daughter Natalie (Keelen) Elam and son-in-law Kit Elam of Bloomington, Indiana; his son Nick Keelen of Belvidere, Illinois; and his precious grandchildren Lachlan and Isla Elam.
Also surviving are his in-laws Linda Barton of Palm Coast, Florida; Peggy (Kirk) Harris of Benton, Illinois; Rick (Janet) Barton of Mt. Zion, Illinois; and Hal (Janice) Miller of La Grange, Illinois, and many beloved nieces and nephews and their children.
He was preceded in death by his mother Birdine (Hamilton Keelen) Neal; step-father John Harley Neal; sister Janet (Keelen) Vineyard; father-in-law Clarence Barton; mother-in-law Mary Barton, and his brother-in-law David Barton.
Steve’s Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Tuesday, July 11th at the Forest City Church 1280 South Alpine Rd, Rockford, IL 61108. Visitation will be from 1:00 P.M. to 2:00 P.M. on Tuesday at the church.
In lieu of flowers please donate to St. Judes. http://fundraising.stjude.org/goto/In_Memory_of_Charles_Stephen_Keelen