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 named Clair and a younger brother named Donald. According to the 1921 census, the Keeley family resided at 1029 Howard Ave., in Windsor. His father’s occupation was listed as a wood worker.
Dr. Keeley attended public school in Windsor and then Essex District High School. He graduated M.D. from the University of Western Ontario in 1941. He interned at Victoria Hospital in London from 1941-1942.
Dr. Keeley married Faith Elizabeth “Betty” Patterson in 1942. She was born on the 29th of August, 1917 the daughter of Thomas Dorrington Patterson and the former Grace Turnbull. She had 2 brothers; Ian Patterson and Dr. Thomas Dermot 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 medical 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 the Public General Hospital, the President of the Kent County Medical Society in 1957 and the 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 on the 29th of December, 2002. Dr. Keeley died on the 7th of May, 2006. Dr. and Mrs. Keeley are buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham.
*Dr. Thomas Dermot Patterson also appears on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.