George A. Kegley, a native of Wythe County, conservationist, master community volunteer and a backbone of the Roanoke Valley Historical Society, died in his sleep Feb. 16. He was editor of the annual History Journal, helped schedule Kegley lectures and in general was always one of the first to step up as needed.
His background was in journalism. He graduated from Roanoke College in 1949 and began working at the Roanoke Times and World-News that year. He later became business editor of The Roanoke Times. He was extremely active with the American Red Cross, becoming the first person to donate 20 gallons of blood in the Appalachian Region.A 2020 Roanoke Times article described his good works, noting he has a “long-term commitment” to the food pantry and clothes closet run by his church, St. Mark’s Lutheran. “He organized camping trips for inner-city children, delivered Meals on Wheels, worked with refugee families and with the Pastoral Counseling Center, served on the board of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, founded the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation, and created a conservation easement on his 116-acre farm. He has volunteered for the Roanoke Rescue Mission.”
George has won about every award given in the Roanoke Valley.
George Andrew Kegley, May 15, 1928 – February 16, 2022
FUNERAL HOME Oakey’s Roanoke Chapel
Our father, George Andrew Kegley of Roanoke, Virginia, passed away in his sleep on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, at Lewis Gale Hospital after a brief illness.
He lived 93 exceptional years, through his writing for the Roanoke Times for 44 years, historical and church publications, and most importantly, volunteering beyond the norm for so many good causes, touching the lives of far more folks than we will ever know.
As Robert Frost wrote in “After Apple Picking,” But I am done with apple picking now. Essence of winter sleep is on the night, The scent of apples: I am drowsing off. Dad never knew an apple that wasn’t a friend nor worthy of pressing into cider. Many friends and family assisted with cider making over the years.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Louise Fowlkes Kegley. He was also preceded in death by his brothers, James Kegley and Fred Kegley of Wytheville.
He is survived by four children, George Andrew “Andy” Kegley (Nan) of Wytheville, Mary Louise Kegley “Sissy” of Roanoke, Robert Kegley (Melissa) of Wytheville, and Richard Kegley (Kristy) of Atlanta; nine grandchildren, Calder Kegley (Megan) of Charlottesville, Grace Kegley of Charlottesville, Reed Kegley of Little Rock, Arkansas, Nathan Guererro (Francesca) of Arlington, Maria Guerrero of Porto, Portugal, Emma Thomas (Gavin) of Philadelphia, Amy Fleming (Scott) of Suffolk, and Katterine and Clara Kegley of Atlanta; seven great-grandchildren, Sawyer and Finley Kegley of Charlottesville, Sara and Hugo Guerrerro of Arlington, Hazel Louise Thomas of Philadelphia, and Beau and Chase Fleming of Suffolk; nephews, Rick Kegley of Wytheville and Dan Kegley of Chilhowie; niece, Sally Kegley Little of Gate City; and sister-in-law, Nancy Kegley of Wytheville.
The Graveside Service was conducted Feb. 21, 2022, at St. John’s Lutheran Church Cemetery in Wytheville, Va. A celebration of his life will be held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church at a later date.
Memorials in George’s name may be made to Blue Ridge Literacy, Roanoke Area Ministries (RAM House), St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, and The Historical Society Western Virginia. Online condolences may be shared with the family at www.oakeys.com.