JACKSON â€” A memorial service for Donald Jon Keshel, retired lieutenant colonel of the U.S. Army, is scheduled for Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Griffith Memorial Baptist Church on 5275 Terry Road in Jackson with burial at Arlington Cemetery at a later date. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.
Mr. Keshel died at his home in Terry on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 . He was born July 18, 1943 to the late Anthony and Mary Keshel of Lansdale, Pa.
Don received his bachelorâ€™s Degree from the University of Nebraska. He also received a masterâ€™s in Human Relations from Webster University, of St. Louis, Mo. in 1977.
He joined the U.S. Army as an enlisted man in October 1962 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry at Fort Benning, Ga. in November 1963.
Don served his country for 26 years, including three combat tours in Vietnam, and service at numerous posts stateside and overseas before retiring in October 1988. During his career, he earned numerous awards, including the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star medals, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Combat Infantrymanâ€™s Badge. Subsequent to retirement, Don was employed as the Senior Army Instructor for the JROTC program in Brookhaven. He began work for the Mississippi Department of Human Services in October 1992, serving as the Director of Human Resources until June 2000.
During that period, he was appointed to the State Personnel Advisory Council by Governor Fordice and served in that capacity until June 2000. He worked as a special assistant to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director and served that agency in both a contractual and employed status until November 2002.
At this agency, he was named outstanding civilian employee in 2001. Don worked in both an employed and contractual status for the Mississippi Alliance of State Employees from January 2003 until his declining health compelled him to end his active employment status.
Don is survived by his wife of 30 years, Donna; children, Michelle, David (Victoria), Jonathon, Jennifer and Seth (Carissa). He also leaves behind three sisters, Virginia (Robert), Antoinette, and Marion and six grandchildren. He expressed gratitude to his all his health care providers, particularly Hospice Ministries. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Hospice Ministries of Ridgeland or the United Services Organization (USO), P.O. Box 96860, Washington, DC 20077-7677. Chancellor Funeral Home of Byram is in charge of arrangements.