Joseph Francis Keene, 86, of Liners Road, MD, died, after a lengthy illness, Friday, July 1, 2022, at the home of his friends, Christopher and Gloria Addams.
"Joe," as he was affectionally called, was born on July 6, 1935, in Baltimore, MD, to the late Willard Keene and the late Evelyn Dair Taylor Keen Quigley. He attended Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School in Baltimore, MD.
As a child, Joe would spend his summers on Liners Road with his grandparents. There, he developed a love for drawing. He and his friends, Linwood, Leonard, and Betty Phillips would play Joe's favorite game of tying ropes around tires and dragging them up and down the road. At the age of 8 or 9, Joe was cracking crab claws in a local crab house.
At the age of 17, against his mother's wishes, Joe enlisted in the Army, volunteering and training to be a paratrooper. During the Korean War, he served for 3 years. He trained to be a part of the Triple Nickels paratroopers. While in the armed forces, Joe played 3rd clarinet in the Regimental Band. He was a candidate for participating with the Naval School of Music and was due for a promotion. Joe left the army due to the rampart racism to which he was subjected.
Upon leaving the armed forces, Joe became a very accomplished musician. He became proficient with the saxophone, clarinet, keyboard, flute, and trumpet. Joe began performing music in the Baltimore area. He performed with several musicians who later became well known. Joe even had the opportunity to perform with Billie Holliday as her "side man".
Joe also performed in the Eastern Shore area. He played with a local band that was very popular, Big Sid and the Night Cappers. Buzzy Thompson was the leader of the band. Joe loved jazz and was wiling to give lessons to young musicians on different jazz techniques.
Over the span of his lifetime, Joe was employed at different companies in the Dorchester County area: Sewell Simmons Canning House, Baker Robbins Canning House, Meredith Seafood, Co., security at DuPont, security at Airpax and Western Publishing.
Joe was also a very talented artist. Oil painting and wildlife carvings were his areas of expertise. Some of his works can be found in local churches, specialty museums, and homes of some of his friends. Joe also used driftwood to produce clocks, ornaments, and small pieces of furniture. Joe used various natural materials to make jewelry. Joe's work has been featured in many festivals, such as the St. Michaels Maritime Museum's Crab Days and the annual Waterfowl Festival in Easton.
Joe was affiliated with John Wesley UM Church of Liners Road. At one point, he served as a trustee of the church. He would play different instruments during services. During Black History Month, Joe would give presentations at Liners Road and other local churches.
Joe had a very entertaining personality. He was a very interesting individual with whom to spend time. He was an avid chess player and enjoyed playing cards. Whenever you spent time with Joe you needed pencil and paper with which to take notes because you would invariably learn something. Joe loved discussing family history and always had a story to convey.
Joe did extensive research on numerous topics: the origin of Stonehenge, interpreting the Mayan calendar, and the design of Washington, DC, and the possibility of an occult influence. Joe was able to present one of his ideas about the Washington, DC design to a prominent Muslim organization.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, a sister, aunt and uncle, Edith and Alec Foster, and special cousins: Doris Molock, Lenora Molock, Binita McNamara, and Emerson Payton.
Joe leaves to cherish his memory his siblings: Emanuel Quigley, James Quigley, and Phyllis Quigley (Baltimore): special friends: Charlotte (Philadelphia), Chris and Gloria Addams, special cousins: Angela Jones, Rudell Molock, David Kiah, Leona Lyles, Sharon Young, Fulton and Mary Davis, and a host of cousins and friends.
Sunday, July 10, 2022
12:00 - 2:00pm (Eastern time)
Sunday, July 10, 2022
Starts at 2:00pm (Eastern time)