Thelma Estell Keen

August 24, 1924 ‒ June 14, 2015

Mansfield, Ohio

MANSFIELD: Thelma E. Keen peacefully passed away Sunday evening, June 14, 2015 in Ohio Health MedCentral Mansfield Hospital surrounded by her family. She was 90 years young.

She was born August 24, 1924 to parents James & Bessie (Harmon) Shoupe in Yeager, West Virginia. On May 24, 1942, she married Lester A. Keen and they shared 35 wonderful years of marriage until he passed away in 1977. They are now together again.

Thelma worked diligently to create a loving home for her family and also worked at Country Meadows as an aide for a time. She had twelve children but chose to love more as her own. She was always happy to play a game of BINGO and in younger years, she enjoyed bowling. She also took pleasure in reading her Bible into the late hours, singing to old songs, and working in her vegetable garden. Above all, Thelma cherished nurturing children of all ages. Her family will miss her orneriness and her giving spirit.

She was a faithful member of The Pines Christian Church in Mt. Gilead.

Thelma is survived by eight children & spouses: Jessie & Omie Keen of Mt. Vernon, Monroe Keen of Mt. Gilead, Kenneth & Billie Jo Keen of Mt. Gilead, Keith & Brandi Keen of Marion, Irene & Keith Nichols of Mt. Gilead, Pansy & Harold Yoder of Fredericktown, Juanita Lewis of Bellville, and Lisa Wright of Galion; daughter-in-law Sandy Keen of Marysville; son-in-law Bruce Hammond of Mt. Gilead; 61 grandchildren, many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; seven siblings & spouses: Edith Ceranzo of Windber, PA, Jackie & Tom Farley of Windber, PA, Irma Shelton of Mt. Gilead, Christine Carpenter of Marysville, A.D. & Bertha Ferrell of Phoenix, AZ, Ollie & Freda Ferrell of Phoenix, AZ, and Tivis & Patsy Ferrell of Johnsville; and numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family.

In addition to her loving husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, three children: Rondall Keen, Bessie Lulabell Hammond, and Jackie Gillespie, two sons-in-law Harold Yoder and Ron Gillespie, and her sister Bonnie Foltz.

Her family will receive friends 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 17, 2015 in Snyder Funeral Home (2553 Lexington Avenue in Mansfield). A funeral service celebrating her life will be held 11 a.m. Thursday morning in the Pines Christian Church (6775 US Route 42 in Mt. Gilead). Evangelist Neil Gilliland will officiate and burial will follow in Zion Cemetery near Four Corners, Butler.

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Thelma’s family and encourage you to share a fond memory or message of condolence to them—and watch her tribute video—at

  • Juanita, Kenneth and Lisa, Sending my condolences during this sad moment in your life. Wishing you many happy memories to be re-called in the coming days. Love, Sheri

  • I am praying for you in the loss of this dear woman. My memories of her go back to my high school years when we worked together at what previously was called Overlook Nursing Home. When I graduated from nursing school and married my pastor huaband Lee Hiney we lived in the area and again had the privilege of doing life together for 12 years. Love to all of you. You are a part of us.

  • My Grandma, Thelma Keen , was a God Fearing Woman of Faith. She has taught so many of her “Children” what it was meant to be loved and in return she had many Children that returned that Love. She has been a major part of making me the Woman and Mother I am today. I do know that she is in the Loving Arms of her beloved Husband that she lost so many years ago. In addition, I know my Mommy and my Aunt Jackie were there awaiting her arrival with their arms wide open. I love you Mamaw.

  • I am so sorry about your loss. My mom Dixie Shelton and Thelma were dear friends. .. they are now together again. … love and prayers to all of you…

  • I would like to say that we are sorry for the loss of Aunt Thelma. Her and Momma and Grandma will be having a great ole time in heaven. Just hope heaven is ready for them. Deepest sympathy.

    With love
    April and Bud

  • Out heart goes out to all the family members.
    May God be with each and every one of you
    As you morn the loss of your loved one.

    Love to all, Quent & Edie Hammond

  • You will be missed but never forgotten grandma…… Kiss lulu n Jackie for us all

  • To Kenny and Billie Jo and families:
    Your beautiful mom was a lady of faith and kindness. She was an older lady who set the example of love and concern for her children, for us to learn from. She will be missed as she fellowships with Jesus.
    Gene, Terri and Scott Roshon

  • Miss you mawmaw. Always remember you and love you your with pepaw now. You was the best. Love you…Billy.

  • So sorry for your loss! Praising God that our obedience to Him brings life with Him forever!

  • Monroe, so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. My prayers are with you and all of your family. May God Bless You.