Lawrence M. Keen, Sr., 90, passed away on April 8, 2020 after health issues. A Lakeland native, Lawrence was born April 15, 1929.

He graduated from Kathleen High School class of 1947. Lawrence went on to serve in the US Navy during the Korean War 1948-1952 where he was stationed on the island of Guam and in Adak, Alaska. Upon returning to the states, he began working for the SCL Seaboard Coastline Railroad and stayed with his aunt and uncle when he met Myrtle Lee Tarlton. The couple married September 20, 1954 and spent 65 years together raising 3 children. Lawrence spent 3 decades of his life working as a fireman for the railroad.
Lawrence’s passion was fishing in his boat with 10-12 cane poles hanging out catching speckled perch…and of course, eating them. He loved being outdoors from planting watermelons/peanuts to working with cattle, to building fences/horse troughs, to tractor/yard work. He planted sugar cane and loved making cane syrup. He had a tender spot for his pet dogs and cats. Upon retirement, Lawrence and Myrtle Lee would take trips to North Carolina to view the fall foliage. He was a member of New Home Baptist Church.

Lawrence is preceded in death by parents: Clarence E, Keen and Leah Iona Coleman-Keen, and siblings Lucille Keen-Hofstetter (Clarence), Cecil T. Keen, Elmer A. Keen (Tadako), and Ralph H. Keen (Peggy).

He is survived by his wife, Myrtle Lee Tarlton-Keen of Lakeland, FL; his daughters, Linda Keen-Rocha (Michael) of Milledgeville, GA and Debra Keen-Allen (Dallas) of Plant City, FL and son Lawrence Larry Keen, Jr. of Lakeland, FL; his granddaughters Jennifer Rocha-Eason (Rod III) of Plantation, FL and Heather Rocha-Mullins (Brandon) of Palm Bay, FL and 4 great-grandchildren Rod Eason IV, Jake Eason, Rhyce Mullins and Ruby Mullins.

A service of celebration of life will be held at a later date for family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to New Home Baptist Church 901 N. Galloway Road, Lakeland, FL 33818, and Good Shepherd Hospice 3470 Lakeland Hills Blvd. Lakeland, FL 33805.

A special thank you to Lakeland care services: Department of Veterans Affairs: Home Based Primary Care and Senior Helpers.

Condolences may be sent to the family at Gentry-Morrison Funeral Home.

Keep Up With Lakeland

Each Thursday, we’ll send you the latest news, including a preview of weekend events

SEND FEEDBACK, corrections or news tips:


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Leave a comment

Your Thoughts On This? (Comments are moderated; first and last name are required.) Cancel reply