AMerican Veteran 10

James Bernard Keeley

June 5, 1935 ~ July 28, 2023 (age 88) 88 Years Old


CW3 (retired) James Bernard Keeley, age 88, passed away peacefully while visiting the family of his son Steve in Manhattan, Kansas on July 28, 2023. Jim was a decorated veteran who served in the Vietnam war and spent 23 years on active duty in the US Air Force and US Army. Among his many service awards were two Bronze Service Stars, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, and a Meritorious Service Medal.


Jim was born on June 5, 1935, in Mount Pleasant, Iowa to his parents Lawrence and Mildred. Jim met his future wife, Bonita Lou Norway, during high school in Annawan, Illinois. When Jim was just 18, he enlisted in the US Air Force and served on active duty from 1954-58. Jim and Bonnie married in 1959, and he re-enlisted in the Air Force in 1961. In 1970, Jim transferred from an enlisted rank in the Air Force to become a Warrant Officer in the Army in exchange for a tour of duty in Vietnam during the war.


In 1980, Jim retired from the Army and the family settled in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Jim began working for the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs and was the Plant Manager at St. Mary’s High School for 20 years. In 2000, Jim and Bonnie returned to Annawan, Illinois to care for Bonnie’s mother Agnes Norway Stetson, and lived there until Bonnie’s passing in 2015. Jim returned to Colorado Springs at that time.


Jim treasured his family and loved spending time with them, and with his many friends. He also loved to golf, and when he wasn’t working he would often be found on the golf course. He continued playing until his 87th birthday.


Jim was a long-time parishioner of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Colorado Springs and of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Annawan. Jim served on the parish council in Colorado Springs and was council president at one time.


Jim and his beloved wife Bonnie had been married for almost 56 years when Bonnie predeceased Jim in 2015. Their son Tom passed away in 2019. Jim is survived by daughters Kate, Susan (and husband Gary Gutierrez), Diane (and husband Mike Eustace), son Steve (and wife Terri), 13 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, his brothers John Keeley and Mike Keeley, and his brothers-in-law Gary Norway and Jim Norway.


There will be a memorial visitation from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m., prior to the memorial service.  The memorial service will begin at 10 am on August 9, 2023, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Colorado Springs, and a funeral service at 10 am on August 21, 2023, at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Annawan.  Vandemore Funeral Homes & Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Boys Town ( or the Bonita (Bonnie) Norway Keeley (’58) Scholarship at Western Illinois University (



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August 21, 2023

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Sacred Heart Cemetery
25611 2000 North
Annawan, IL 61234

Funeral Service
August 21, 2023

10:00 AM
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
305 W. South Ave
Annawan, IL 61234


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