Dr. Charles Douglas Keeley was born on the 11th of February, 1916 in Mersea Township, Ontario. His parents were Bruce Keeley and the former Vera Ann Atkinson. He had an older brother Clair and a younger brother Donald. According to the 1921 census, the Keeley family resided at 1029 Howard Ave., in Windsor.
Dr. Keeley attended public school in Windsor and then Essex High School. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1941 with his M.D. and he interned at Victoria Hospital in London from 1941-1942.
Dr. Keeley married Faith Elizabeth “Betty” Patterson in 1942. She was the daughter of Thomas Dorrington Patterson and the former Grace Turnbull. She had 2 brothers, Dr. Thomas Dermot Patterson and Ian Patterson.
Dr. and Mrs. Keeley had two daughters, Stephanie Elizabeth and Lesley Patricia.
Dr. Keeley joined the Canadian Navy as a Surgeon Lieutenant, serving from 1942 to 1946. He was assigned to the destroyer, H.M.C.S. Saskatchewan, which patrolled the North Atlantic during WWII. His service also included instructing anatomy on the Military Base at Comox, B.C. and on Vancouver Island.
Dr. Keeley took post-graduate training in surgery at the University of Western Ontario from 1946 to 1948. He passed his examination for the Fellowship in the Royal College of Surgeons F.R.C.S (C) in 1948. He became a Fellow of the American College, F.A.C.S.
Dr. Keeley opened his office at 274 King St. in Chatham in 1948. When Dr. Keeley arrived in Chatham, he was expected to supply his own medical instruments to perform surgeries. Dr. Keeley not only purchased his own instruments, he was known to purchase equipment for the hospital and donate it including the first skin graft machine in Chatham. He was Chief of Surgery at Public General Hospital, President of the Kent County Medical Association and President of the Windsor Travelling Surgical Club. He was a director of the Western Ontario Surgical Association.
Dr. Keeley was President of the Chatham Maroons Hockey Association and he was one of the founding members of the Maple City Golf and Country Club. He was also a member of the Kent Club of Chatham. Dr Keeley received may honors for his community involvement, including being honored with Chatham Kent Citizen of the Year. He also received the Glenn Sawyer Service Award from the Ontario Medical Association.
Dr. Keeley retired in the early 1990’s. He enjoyed playing golf, carving ducks and totem poles, and he was a sports fan.
Mrs. Keeley died in 2002. Dr. Keeley died on the 7th of May, 2006 and he was buried at Mapleleaf Cemetery in Chatham.
*Dr. Thomas Dermot Patterson also appears on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.