John Henry Keaton

January 20, 1925 ~ December 2, 2019 (age 94)




Elder John Henry ("J. H.") Keaton, Jr., age 94, was called home by his Lord and Savior, surrounded by his loving family on Monday, December 2, 2019. He was born in Stokes County, North Carolina on January 20, 1925, one of ten children born to the late John Henry Keaton, Sr. and Martha Roberta “Trudie” Hall Keaton. He was married on December 19, 1942 to the love of his life, Ethel Marie Jones Keaton until her passing on February 10, 2011.


He proudly served our country in the United States Army during World War II and always proclaimed how proud he was to be an American. Elder Keaton was a lifelong farmer and gardener. He worked as a mechanic and carpenter and retired from Armtex, Inc., Pilot Mountain, North Carolina after 23 years of service.


Elder Keaton was passionate and dedicated in serving the church and the Lords people. He was a devout and faithful member of Rock House Primitive Baptist Church for over 65 years. He served as deacon for 15 years and moderator for 50 years. He also served as moderator for Stateline, Cedar Falls and Piney Grove Primitive Baptist Church, as well as the Fisher’s River Association. There are no words to describe the many lives he touched during his lifetime of service.


Elder Keaton was a loving man who enjoyed the simple pleasures of life. He found great contentment in his life through his faith in God, honor and faithful service of country and love of family. He was a man of unwavering faith, strength, inspiration and leadership. A man of strong character and integrity, charitable and selfless, always willing to help others. He loved to sing, always wore a smile and shared his joyful sense of humor with everyone he met. Elder Keaton was truly one of a kind who certainly made a difference in the many lives of others.


Those who will forever cherish his memory are his daughter and loving caregivers, Geraldine K. and husband Frank Ahting of Westfield; one son, Grant Keaton and wife Dorothy of Westfield; one daughter-in-law, Julia C. Keaton; eight grandchildren, twenty-four great-grandchildren, five great-great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and an extended church family.


In addition to his parents, Elder Keaton was predeceased by his loving wife of 68 years, Ethel Marie Jones Keaton; two sons, Gene Carlton Keaton and Delmer Gray Keaton; one daughter-in-law, Frankie B. Keaton; one brother, Henry James Keaton; and eight sisters, Gladys Keaton, Callie Venable, Lucille Keaton, Mozelle Mitchell, Estelle Watson, Inez Boyles, Nellie Mabe and Doris Jean Keaton, and one half-sister, Jettie Calhoun.


The family will receive friends on Thursday evening, December 5, 2019 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Cox Needham Funeral Home, 822 West Main Street, Pilot Mountain, North Carolina and at other times at the family home.


Funeral services for Elder Keaton will be held on Friday, December 6, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at Rock House Primitive Baptist Church located at 2132 NC Highway 268 East, Pinnacle, North Carolina, with Elder Avery Branch, Elder Jimmy Joyce, Elder Rodney Marshall and Elder Jeff Whitaker officiating.


Interment will follow in the church cemetery with military honors provided by the VFW Memorial Honor Guard Post 2019 of Mount Airy and Post 9436 of Pilot Mountain.


Flowers are welcome or memorial contributions may be made to Rock House Primitive Baptist Church c/o Treasurer, 1211 Keaton Road, Westfield, North Carolina 27053-7219 or Mountain Valley Hospice & Palliative Care, 401 Technology Lane, Suite 200, Mount Airy, North Carolina 27030.


The family wishes to express heartfelt thanks to our many friends and loved ones who have supported and lifted us up through our times of need. The family would also like to extend a very special thanks and deepest appreciation to all the Mountain Valley Hospice staff for their care and compassion.


Cox-Needham Funeral Home of Pilot Mountain (, is respectfully serving the Keaton family.



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Henry Keaton, please visit our floral store.


December 5, 2019

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Cox-Needham Funeral Home
822 West Main Street
Pilot Mountain, NC 27041

Funeral Service
December 6, 2019

2:00 PM
Rock House Primitive Baptist Church

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