Jacquelyn Holland Keys

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Jacquelyn Holland Keys passed away peacefully in her home on August 7, 2019 after celebrating her 84th birthday this summer. She was born June 23, 1935 on the family farm in Western Oklahoma in Dewey County near Putnam where she started elementary school and loved to ride her pony. Her parents, William Andrew Holland and Margaret Lucy Barr Holland, moved to Tulsa during World War II where W.A. was sent to the Aleutian Islands and Margaret worked as a "Rosie the Riveter." Jacquelyn continued her elementary education in the Tulsa Public Schools, finishing in Collinsville, Oklahoma, where her father opened a business after the war. When her family started another store in Vinita, Oklahoma, "Jacque" completed junior high school there and made many friends, developed a voracious reading habit and enjoyed riding horses. She began high school in Stillwater, Oklahoma where her father moved his appliance store downtown. Jacque worked for Claude Leachman who owned the movie theatres throughout Stillwater, developing a life-long love of films. She graduated from Stillwater High School in 1953 where she was voted Football Homecoming Queen.
Jacque attended Oklahoma State University and worked for Abe Hesser in the Student Union. One of the highlights of her work experience was helping coordinate Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie's visit to OSU through President Harry S. Truman's Point Four Program. Jacque could recall many details of all the diplomatic protocols which had to be followed precisely.
She eloped with her high school sweetheart, Howard N. "Sonny" Keys, who had joined the United States Army and was posted to Europe where he competed on sports teams throughout the continent. Jacque traveled on the Queen Mary to join Sonny in France and worked on a military base, touring many landmarks in other countries. When they returned to the United States, the couple moved to Stillwater where Sonny played football for Oklahoma State University. Upon graduation, they moved to Pennsylvania after the NFL draft and Sonny played football for the Philadelphia Eagles. The couple had four children, David, Elizabeth, Mike and Kathy, and the family was featured in many advertisements. Jacque also modeled in print ads, along with producing radio commercials and shows for several companies in New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area.
After Sonny's career-ending injury against the Dallas Cowboys, the Calgary Stampeders in Alberta invited him to help coach the team in the Canadian Football League. Jacque embraced the cold winters, learning to ski and skate with her children. She became a "hockey mom," along with volunteering at her children's schools and in the community.
When Sonny accepted an NFL coaching position with the Cleveland Browns, Jacque came back to the states and continued to enjoy skiing in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. After her husband passed away from cancer, Jacque returned to Stillwater because she and Sonny insisted all their children graduate from college. All four earned degrees from Oklahoma State University. Jacque settled into the role of grandmother and great-grandmother, celebrating with the birth of each one, making quilts, completing crossword puzzles, reading from the best-seller lists, and hosting gatherings featuring her cornbread stuffing.
Her parents and husband preceded her in death.
She is survived by her four children and their families, David and Connie Keys, Las Vegas, Nevada; Elizabeth Keys, Enid, Oklahoma; Michael and Susan Keys, Denver, Colorado; and Kathy and Darrell Suehs, Houston, Texas. Jacque's eight grandchildren and their families include Cristin and Matt More, Novato, California; Maggie and Nick Jackson, Enid, Oklahoma; Michael Keys, Patrick Keys and Adam Keys, all of Denver, Colorado; Captain Matthew Wesley Talley, Fort Benning, Georgia; Greg Keys, San Francisco, California; and Jacquelyn and Oscar Flores, Houston, Texas.
"Gran Jacque" is survived by five great-granddaughters including Clara and Ruby More; Blythe and Margot Jackson; and Olivia Flores.
Survivors also include her siblings and their families, Barbara Jill McQueen, Oklahoma City; Tom and Darla Holland, Frisco, Texas; and Jim and Kathy Holland, Lake Keystone, Oklahoma. Jacque is also survived by many nieces and nephews scattered throughout the country, along with several cousins she had very fond memories of playing together as children in Western Oklahoma.
Dighton-Marler Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. The family is planning a private celebration of her life. Memorials may be sent to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
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Published on August 23, 2019
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2 posts

Elaine Ackerson
Aug 28, 2019
Jacque was our neighbor on Harned for many years. She was a beautiful and kind woman, soft spoken and gracious. I am sorry to know she is gone.
Marjorie Holbrook
Aug 24, 2019
My condolences to Jacques family. I remember Jacque well. I graduated with Jacque n Sonny. Jacque, I, n 2 other girls from Stillwater traveled to Europe on the Queen Mary to join our husbands. We met our husbands in Paris. After we all got back to the states we spent some time with our families at Lake Carl Blackwell water skiing. Aww sweet memories. !!!!