In Memory of




Obituary for Frances Sheppard Keen

Clara Frances Sheppard Keen slipped away at home late afternoon on February 22, 2022, with her daughter by her side. A proud 27-year resident of Norfolk's Ghent neighborhood, she was an engaged member of the community, a volunteer at WHRO, Red Cross, League of Women Voters, and other cultural organizations. She especially loved the Norfolk Botanical Gardens where she was an active volunteer for many years.

She was born in Pelahatchie, MS on October 20, 1930 to Thomas Atley Sheppard and Lottie Belle Winstead. She was married to James Ray Keen of Harrisville, MS for 25 years. She is preceded in death by her beloved son, Michael Gordon Keen, and cherished gentleman friend of many years Harvey "Buddy" Carpenter of Mitchells, VA. She is survived by daughter Robin Gilbert and son Bruce Keen; her grandchildren and their spouses Kevin Gilbert (Kim Hodges), Dr. Andrea Gilbert (Benny Bologna) and John Gilbert (Lisa Lindsey).

She first started her career in a tiny post office in Pinola, MS where she was able to expand, relocate and grow, retiring after 25 years. She was an avid reader, loved travel, life and all it promised. She was a woman of indomitable courage, infinite resourcefulness, and loving generosity. Her family and friends treasure her memory and mourn her loss.

A memorial service will be held at Graham Funeral Home, 1112 Kempsville Road Chesapeake, VA 23320 on Saturday, February 26, 2022 at 11a.m.

In lieu of flowers, a commemorative donation is suggested to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. Please visit her webpage at to view the service and leave a note to the family.