Christian 03

Rev. Justus Long McKeel

October 8, 1934 ~ March 23, 2020 (age 85)


Rev. Justus Long McKeel, 85, died March 23, 2020 in Shelby, NC.  He was born on October 8, 1934, in Martin County, NC to the late William Jasper McKeel and Frances Nicholson McKeel.  He was also preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Juanita Tyler McKeel.  He was fondly called “Husband” by his “Wife” Juanita, and “Granddaddy” and “Da” by his grandchildren.

Justus was a resident of Randolph County, NC for 50 years.

He was a graduate of Whiteville High School and East Carolina College.  He taught at Cerro Gordo High School for several years in Columbus County.  He met Juanita there, and they were married in 1958 at C.G. UMC.  He was “called” into the ministry and was ordained at Bethel Baptist Church in Bethel in 1960 and graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest in 1963.  After graduation, he began 50 years of ministry in several NC pastorates including: Williamson’s Crossroads Baptist Church, Gibson Baptist Church, Wade Baptist Church, First Baptist Church Ramseur, and Center Cross Baptist Church.

Justus had a passion for missions.  He went on several trips to Honduras and led summer mission conferences at NC Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell.  He also served as moderator of the Randolph Baptist Association.  Juanita and he enjoyed traveling to several Baptist conventions.  One of the highlights of his ministry was being the mentor “Paul” to many “Timothies”.  Justus, with his dear friend Leon Thompson, made a spiritual pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Justus and Juanita’s greatest love was spending time with their family particularly during annual summer trips to Ocean Isle Beach and holiday family gatherings.  They had a passion for vegetable and flower gardening and canning.  He found enjoyment in fishing with his grandchildren, extended family, and friends.  He was well-read in a broad range of subjects including history, theology, and current events.

Justus is survived by his three daughters, Dr. Mary McKeel Jones and her husband Allen Wedincamp of Shelby, NC, Martha McKeel McMasters and her husband Richard Doughman of Charlotte, NC, and Jennifer McKeel Rakestraw and her husband Brad of Reidsville, NC;  a sister Alice Faye Jarrell and husband Jimmy of Ahoskie, NC;  a sister Brenda McKeel Frick of Merry Hill, NC; five grandchildren, Matthew McMasters and wife Angela of Simpsonville, SC, Natalie Jones and husband Cameron Canter of Raleigh, NC, Dr. Caroline Jones Murrell and husband Andrew of Durham, NC; Jasper and Emma Rakestraw of Reidsville, NC; two great-grandchildren Finley and Bridgette McMasters.

He is also survived by numerous other loving family members.

A private family service and burial will be held at the Sunset Knoll Cemetery, Ramseur, NC with Rev. Leon Thompson officiating.

Justus will lie in state at Loflin Funeral Home from 1:00 PM till 5:00 PM on Friday afternoon and 8:00 AM till 12:00 PM on Saturday morning.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Arrangements are made by Loflin Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Ramseur, NC.

Condolences may be made online at

Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church Ramseur, PO Box 544 Ramseur, NC 27316; Center Cross Baptist Church, 1789 Center Cross Church Rd, Asheboro, NC 27205; Alzheimer’s Association at; or Hospice of Cleveland County at


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First Baptist Church of Ramseur
PO Box 544, Ramseur NC 27316

Alzheimer's Association
4600 Park Rd. #250, Charlotte NC 28209

Center Cross Baptist Church
Center Cross Church Rd., Asheboro NC 27205

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