David Arthur Keeney
David Arthur Keeney was born on Nov. 7, 1938, in San Francisco. He died peacefully on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013 at Southern Inyo Hospital in Lone Pine, where he had been a resident since July 2012.
David graduated from Palo Alto High School, a star half-back (wide receiver) on the Paly Vikings championship football team. He also excelled in baseball in school and as an early Little Leaguer. Following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy Air Division, serving as a flight-deck crewman and firefighter during the early years of the Vietnam war.
Dave suffered a spinal-cord injury when he was 23, becoming what he called “a gimp.” Paraplegia became another athletic challenge and his determination allowed him to do many things paraplegics are not expected to do, including living a long and active life. After a lengthy rehabilitation, he studied music at Bakersfield College, got his first really good guitar and as a singer-songwriter crossed the borders of folk music, country and rock ‘n’ roll, expanding visions and enriching lives. He returned to Independence for a time, teaching guitar and coaching a Little League baseball team.
Dave was indeed a man of resources and he turned his knowledge of drafting and engineering, a legacy from his father, Ben Keeney, into a career with a Denver, Colo. company which installed one of the first microwave networks in the northern Rocky Mountains. He lived for a time on the central California coast; in Tucson, Ariz. and yes, he took his music to Nashville. Though riches and fame in the music world eluded him, he had a great time along the way. He returned to his family in Independence in 1990.
The strong restless hands no longer sound his guitar; the sometimes sweet and often raucous voice is still. There is a silence now in which the harmonics may still be heard.
Dave is survived by his many cousins who have gathered in Independence many times for reunions; by his nephew, Pat Harrison, Granite Bay, and his family, sister Gayle Keeney, Citrus Heights, and by his dearest friend and longtime companion, Jan Ontano, Independence.