Mr. Jack Nolan Keen, 85, of Jefferson, "Coach Keen" to all who knew him, passed away Friday, July 24, 2020. He had resided in Jefferson for 56 years prior to becoming a resident of Bountiful Hills Senior Living Community in Commerce 3 years ago.
He was born April 20, 1935 in Atlanta to the late Edward T. Keen and Jacquelyn Turner Nolan Keen.
Coach Keen grew up in the Buckhead community of Atlanta after the family spent a brief period in Eatonton, Georgia. Upon graduating from North Fulton High School in 1953, he attended Georgia Institute of Technology, earning degrees in industrial management and geology.
He married Beverly Ann Hampson in 1959. He began teaching at North Fulton High School in Atlanta, launching a career in education that would span 50 years. After he received a masters degree in mathematics from Arizona State University, the family relocated to Jefferson in 1966, where Coach Keen became a fixture of Jefferson City Schools and spent the next 42 years as an advanced mathematics teacher and track, cross country, and wrestling coach at Jefferson High School.
Coach Keen was a dedicated and respected teacher, mentor, counselor, and friend to thousands of students and athletes and their families during his teaching/coaching career at Jefferson High School. He was elected Star Teacher 27 times, was inducted into the state and national coaches hall of fame, and coached hundreds of state championship athletes.
In addition to teaching, Coach Keen's passion was traveling throughout the western United States with his family. An avid outdoorsman, he built many precious memories with the family during the summers while touring national parks and historic sites, hiking, and camping. He built a family vacation home in the small town of Westcliffe, Colorado, which soon became the family's part time "adopted" home town.
Coach Keen was preceded in death by a son, Doug. He is survived by his devoted wife of 60 years, Beverly, brother, Ted Keen of North Carolina, son Jeff (Bill) of Hoschton, son Chris (Rikki) of Chugiak, Alaska, and grandchildren Cody and McKenna Keen, daughter Karen Porter (Gary) of Jefferson, granddaughter Savannah Royal and great grandson Porter, grandson Chaz (Kayla) and great granddaughters Lily and Abby, grandson Tyler, daughter Katherine Cheatham (Chad) of Blue Ridge, and grandchildren Braxton and Annaleigh.
Due to the Covid-19 crisis, there will be a small private family gathering. A visitation and celebration of life will be planned at a later date. The family respectfully asks for any visitors to practice social distancing.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Jefferson City School Foundation, P.O. Box 624, Jefferson, Georgia 30549 or to Bountiful Hills Senior Living, 200 Bolton Drive, Commerce,, Georgia 30529.
Online condolences at www.evansfuneralhomeinc.com Evans Funeral Home, Inc., 1350 Winder Highway, Jefferson, Georgia. 706-367-5467.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Coach Jack Nolan Keen, please visit our floral store.
Jefferson School System Foundation
P.O. Box 624, Jefferson GA 30549
Bountiful Hills Personal Care
200 Bolton Dr., Commerce GA 30529