Dr. Charles Douglas Keeley was born on the 11th of February, 1916 in Mersea Township, (Essex County) Ontario. He was the 2nd of 3 sons born to Bruce Keeley and the former Vera Ann Atkinson. His siblings were Clair Atkinson Keeley and Donald Keith Keeley. 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 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 was married to Faith Elizabeth “Betty” Patterson on Valentine’s Day, 1942 in Windsor. She was born in England on the 29th of August, 1917 the daughter of Thomas Dorrington Patterson and the former Grace Robertson Turnbull. Her parents were both born in Ontario but they were married in Surrey, England on the 18th of November, 1916. Mrs. Keeley’s father served with the 13th Brigade of the Canadian Field Artillery during WWI. Mrs. Keeley immigrated to Ontario in 1918. In 1921, the Patterson family was residing at 838 Dufferin Ave., in London, Ontario. Mrs. Keeley had 2 younger brothers; Ian Patterson and Dr. Thomas Dermot Patterson. After a brief honeymoon, Dr. Keeley headed to Halifax at the end of February 1942 to begin his service during WWII.
Mrs. Keeley graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a B.A. in 1940. While at university she was part of the tennis, swimming and ski clubs.
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. His service also included instructing anatomy on the military base in Comox, B.C. and on Vancouver Island.
Dr. and Mrs. Keeley had two daughters; Stephanie Elizabeth Keeley and Lesley Patricia Keeley
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.
In 1972, the Keeley family resided at 6 Devon Drive in Chatham.
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 were buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham.
*Dr. Thomas Dermot Patterson also appears on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.