Wallace Overton McKeel, Sr.

February 24, 1925 - August 28, 2018

02/24/1925 - 08/28/2018


Wallace Overton McKeel, Sr., age 93, passed away on August 28, 2018 at his home in Ahoskie, NC

Wallace was born on February 24, 1925 to William Silas and Irene Overton Mckeel in Bertie County, NC in the Powellsville township.  He enlisted in the US Army in 1943 and was first assigned to the 65th (Panther) Infantry Division and later the 78th (Lightening) Infantry Division of the European Theater during World War II.  He was assigned to the Siegfried Line in Germany and was honorably discharged as an Assistant Squad Leader in 1946 after the war. He earned a Purple Heart and three Bronze Stars during his time serving in World War II.  When he returned to the states after the war, he attended Memphis Horological School for watchmaking in Memphis, TN.  He was married to Burnell Harrell in 1947 and together they established McKeels Jewelry in 1950. He retired in 2015.  He was an outdoorsman who loved hunting and fishing and he was known to be a talented ballroom dancer who spent many years dancing with his wife, Burnell.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Judith McKeel Hardee.

Wallace is survived by his wife of 71 years, Burnell Harrell McKeel, two sons, Wallace McKeel, Jr. and wife Christine of Ahoskie, and Robbin McKeel and wife Lydia of Hampstead, NC, a brother, Ben McKeel and wife Joyce of Newport News, Va, and two grandchildren, Taylor McKeel of Knoxville, TN and Trevor McKeel of Hampstead, NC, step-grandson, Lawson Marsh of Ahoskie, and nephew Robyn McKeel.

A celebration of life graveside service will be held on Friday August 31, 2018 at 1:00 p.m at Highland Memorial Gardens, Ahoskie, NC with Reverend Trey Gilliam officiating. The family will receive friends anytime at the home.

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service is handling the arrangements for the McKeel family and online condolences may be directed to them by visiting www.garrettsykesfs.com.


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Jean Abel (Vivian Harrington’s daughter)
5 years ago

I am so sorry to hear of Wallace’s passing. I was at the nursing home in NC just a few weeks ago to visit Aunt Burnell and Wallace. Wallace had left so I didn’t get to see him and I found out later he passed a couple days after I was there. I had a nice visit with Aunt Burnell. I remember Wallace mostly when I was a young girl. I always liked him and knew my Aunt Burnell adored him. Continued prayers for the family!!

James Cooper
5 years ago

During WWII, Corporal McKeel joined Co. K, 311th Infantry, 78th Division on Jan 9, 1945 in the Hurtgen Forest, Germany. He was wounded in action March 9, 1945 during the taking and securing of the Remagen Bridgehead. He was one of the last 15 surviving members of the company at the time of his passing.

Wendy Overton-Ervin
5 years ago

Robin and Wally, I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of your dad. I remember days when your family lived down the street from me and I enjoyed talking with your parents for all the years that I would come home and visit McKeel’s Jewelry. My favorite memory is how they were always ready to leave early on Saturdays because they couldn’t wait to get on the dance floor for ballroom dancing each Saturday night.

Rosa Shores Mizelle
5 years ago

Thinking of all of you at this difficult time and remembering that my first after school job was in the store on Main Street. Terry and send our condolences to each of you.

Shirley Smith
5 years ago

Prayers & sympathy to Wallace’s wife & family. He was a sweet guy & not only did I love to watch him & his wife dance but was fortunate enough to dance a couple of times with him myself (with his wife’s permission, of course). This Southern gentleman will be truly missed!

Nancy Parker Bracy
5 years ago

I met Wallace and Burnell over 48 years ago, when Dick and I picked out my engagement ring from McKeel’s Jewelry on Main St.. He was the best joke and story teller, as well a talented ballroom dancer who could make any partner look good. Will cherish the many good times we had with them.

Marianne Elliott
5 years ago

So sorry for your loss, Wally and Christine. I know how hard it is to lose your love one because we just buried my 93 year old mother on Wed. Even though they’ve lived a long life it’s still difficult to say goodbye. Thinking of you. Marianne Elliott

Shelia Harrison Bramon
5 years ago

Prayers to you all just a lovely man treated with with great service every time i came in the store

Garth and Erin Faile
5 years ago

Wally and Robbin,
Your Dad was a fine man. Garth and I send our condolences for your loss.

Suellyn H. Riddick
5 years ago

Your family has my sincere sympathy.