LaVerne Keats, a 49 year resident of Chalfont, died peacefully on December 29th, 2018, at the age of 97. He was the husband of Wilna (“Willie”) Keats, to whom he was married for over 58 years.
Born in Wilkes-Barre, PA, he was the son of Wilfred James and Helen Taylor Keats. Before becoming a resident of Chalfont, he lived for many years in Basking Ridge, Newark and Wharton, NJ, as well as Minneapolis, MN.
He was a graduate of Drew University in Madison, NJ and received a Masters Degree from Montclair University in Montclair, N.J. He retired in 1986 as a Senior Contract Consultant of the then Group Insurance Department of the Prudential Insurance Company of America, after 34 years of service that included time in its Newark, NJ and the Minneapolis, MN offices as well as those in Horsham. Before being employed by the Prudential, he was a District Scout Executive in the Boy Scout movement in Paterson, NJ and Lockport NY.
An Army veteran of World War II, he served both in the Army Air Corps and the Ground forces and in the European and Asiatic-Pacific Theaters of Operation. He was a member of VFW Post 3258 of Chalfont.
Mr. Keats was an active member of the Chalfont United Methodist Church where he served as a member of the Church Council, a former Finance Committee Chairman, a Lay Leader and the Church’s representative to the Washington Crossing Council, Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Keats was a very active member of the Boy Scout Movement for some 73 years both in New Jersey and New York as well as Bucks County. A Cub Master of Pack 133 of Chalfont for 15 years, he was a Scout Master of a Troop during the 1953 National Boy Scout Jamboree at Irvine CA and a member of the National Staff of the 1960 Jamboree at Colorado Springs, CO. He also was the Handicraft Director and Instructor at the Ockanickon Scout Reservation for fifteen years. He was a Wood Badge Scouter and recipient of the District Award of Merit and the Kangaroo Award of the Lenape District, the Silver Beaver Award of the Washington Croasssing Council as well as the God and Service Award given him for his service to Scout Program and the youth of Chalfont by the Chalfont United Methodist Church. Additionally, the Chapel of the Four Chaplains honored LaVerne’s service to our youth.
He served New Britain Township as one of its representatives to the Bucks County conference on the Aging as well as the Judge of Election of West Ward 1 the Township for well over 20 years and as a member of its Veterans Memorial Committee.
He is survived by his wife, Wilna and two sons, Wilfred James Keats of Arlington, VA and Commander Halsey Dickinson Keats, USN (retired), and his wife Jennifer, of Tampa, FL, as well as Grandchildren, Dylan Nicolas, Nathanael Brian, Blair Abreu, Halsey James and Javier Abreu.
Friends and family are invited to attend his viewings 7 – 9PM, Friday, January 4, 2019 at Scanlin Funeral Home, 175 East Butler Ave., Chalfont, PA and 9- 10 AM, Saturday January 5at Chalfont United Methodist Church, 11 Meadowbrook Lane, Chalfont, PA followed by his Funeral Service at 10 AM. Interment will take place at Locust Hill Cemetery, Dover, NJ.
Contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to either the Chalfont United Methodist Church, 11 Meadowbrook Lane, Chalfont PA 18914 or the Washington Crossing Council, BSA, 1 Scout Way, Doylestown, PA 18901 .