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Stuart KeatonFebruary 16, 2017 ~ July 13, 2017
MIDDLEBURY — Stuart “Stu” Christopher Keaton, 58, Middlebury, went to be home with his Lord and Savior on the morning of Thursday, July 13, 2017 after a hard-fought, nearly three-year battle with lung cancer.
Stu was born Feb. 16, 1959 in Toledo, Ohio to Ronald and Etta (Bryant) Keaton.
He is survived by his wife, Heather (Sorters) Keaton; his three children, Stuart (Crystal) Keaton, Kathryn Keaton and Erica (Matt) Macnak; four grandchildren, Logan, Lyla, Briella and Graham; two brothers, Jeff (Julie) Keaton and Ron (Peggy) Keaton; four half-brothers and sisters, Shannon (Wes) Hawk, Paul Keaton, Beth (Greg) Konczal and Andy (Meghan) Keaton; his father, Ronald Keaton, several nieces, nephews and uncles.
Stu attended First Baptist Church in Bristol where he gave his heart to the Lord two years ago. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, hunting and fishing on his property and going on special hunts with his son and friends for several decades. He loved spending time with his family, he loved his children with all his heart and soul, he loved his friends, having cookouts, playing cards and going on trips together. He loved his fur babies and loved feeding and watching the wildlife on his property.
Stu was full of life, always joking around and making people laugh. Stu also had a passion for helping people, even strangers. He had such a generous heart and gave freely to his family, friends, strangers and to several animal and childrens organizations he cared about.
Stu was a U.S. Army Veteran attached to the 82nd Airborne.
Stu worked in the cargo trailer manufacturing industry for over two decades, owning and co-owning several companies, most recently co-founding Stealth Trailers in Bristol in 2008 and building it to a $40+ million company in a few short years. He cared deeply for his employees and dealers, many of whom became close friends over the years.
His leadership and management style was like none other and he was highly regarded and respected among his peers, employees, dealers and vendors.
Visitation is at First Baptist Church, 53953 Co Rd 17, Bristol on Tuesday, July 18, from 2 - 4 p.m. and 6 - 8 p.m. and on Wednesday, July 19, from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
A Celebration of Life Service is at First Baptist Church on Wednesday, July 19, at 12 p.m., with a graveside service immediately following at Oakridge Cemetery, Bristol. Pastor Phil Byars is officiating the services.
Memorial donations may be made to the Lung Cancer Alliance, American Cancer Society, Humane Society of Elkhart County, SPCA or St. Jude’s Hospital.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Billings Funeral Home, 812 Baldwin Street, Elkhart.
Online condolences can be made at www.billingsfuneralhome.com.