Jul 15, 2019

Donald E. Keys of Hendersonville, NC, passed from this earth to his Holy Savior in Heaven at Pardee Memorial Hospital, July 15, 2019, after a courageous battle with cancer. He leaves behind his loving wife, Cynthia T. Keys of Hendersonville, and his brother, Bill Keys of Madison, WI.

Don was born to Harry A. Keys and Anne Corn Keys on October 2, 1945 in Washington, D.C.  Donny and Cindy shared their lives together for thirty-five years, first in Waldorf, MD, then in Hendersonville, NC. Donny and Cindy were loyal members of the First Baptist Church in Hendersonville.

Donny lived a life of joy and shared that joy with all lucky enough to have met him. Donny graduated from the University of Maryland and taught Physical Education at Oxon Hill High School, Maryland for thirty years. He coached football and baseball and was inducted into the Maryland Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. Hendersonville was a second home to Donny because of annual summer visits to the Dana Road farm where his mother was born. Donny loved those visits because he and Bill could escape the crowded and growing DC area to return to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Donny had many loves in addition to his wife. He loved Washington Redskins football games, where he bragged lovingly about Cindy, the band’s drum major, band director, and clarinetist. He loved playing with children in the neighborhood and in his own family. They nicknamed him their “toy.” Children worshipped him for his laughter and guidance. He and Cindy fawned over their three Westies, and made an army of friends with other dog lovers.

He spread his love and joy with his brothers-in-law, John M. (Cheryl) Tune, Samuel Scott (Sandra) Tune, and his brother, William C. (Linda) Keys. Donny’s other relatives, former students and colleagues and a host of friends will also miss him dearly. Donny was joyful, kind, patient, unpretentious, and direct. Everyone who knew him expresses shock and deep loss when they hear of Donny’s death. Donny’s affection for others and his exemplary life are fixed in our memories and remind us that we are lucky to have known and loved him.

There will be a visitation at 1:00, followed by a memorial service on July 27 at 2:00 PM at First Baptist Church in Hendersonville.

In lieu of flowers you may contribute to the American Cancer Society or the Asheville Humane Society, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville, NC 28806

Jackson Funeral Service is assisting the Keys Family.