Emanuel Keyes

January 28, 1937 ~ June 14, 2022 (age 85)


Emanuel Keyes, 85, passed peacefully into eternal rest on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.  He was born January 28, 1937 in Whitehall, Texas to James Francis and Nora (Kuta) Keyes.  He graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in Baytown, Class of 1956.  He played for the Ganders football teams all three years of high school, helping the varsity team to reach the state semi-finals his senior year as starting cornerback.  He served in the U.S. Army for 2 years following high school and received an honorable discharge.

Emanuel was, above all, a devout Catholic.  He served as an altar-boy for years and his faith endured throughout his life. His family moved to Highlands on to the government farms when he was 2 years old.  He was the 5th of 8 children, with 4 older brothers, 1 younger, and 2 younger sisters.  Growing up, he loved fishing and hunting.  He started working at the age of 11, shining shoes on the sidewalks of the small town of Highlands.  The local pharmacist noticed the young boy’s work ethic and Emanuel eventually was working at the pharmacy.  This work ethic combined with Emanuel’s honesty and integrity would define how he lived his entire life, truly to serve others.

Following his stint in the Army, Emanuel returned to his hometown of Highlands, and met the love of his life.  Emanuel married Wilma Casey of Highlands on January 30th 1960 at St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Highlands. They enjoyed 60 wonderful years together and were deeply in love throughout until her passing.  Emanuel and Wilma enjoyed the country life with their children on a 5 acre farm.  Emanuel also enjoyed coaching in the Highlands Little League, where his sons played.  He continued his love for fishing and hunting, including “frogging” and flounder gigging.  He enjoyed the company of family and friends, playing dominos and card games.  He also loved the many family vacations to a variety of places, especially Port O’ Conner and the Frio River.

Emanuel worked at the Ashland Rubber plant in Baytown, Texas for 19 years.  When the plant shut down, he went to work for Diamond Shamrock at Greens Bayou and worked at the site for another 19 years, most of which was in the position of Stores Supervisor.  He was well liked and respected by his coworkers, as he was humble and always treated others fairly.

Before retiring and thereafter for several years, Emanuel and his wife Wilma bought and managed the popular Cedar Inn restaurant in Highlands, where they became well known to the community for their hospitality and kindness.

In his later years, Emanuel enjoyed the company of his grandchildren, giving rides on the tractor, watching movies and Astros games, and hunting.

Emanuel was a friend to everyone he met.  He will be dearly missed.  He is preceded in death by his wife Wilma Jean Keyes, parents, James Francis and Nora (Kuta) Keyes, and brothers James, Joe, and Alvin.

He is survived by his two sons Doug (Amber) Keyes and John (Maggie) Keyes, and his daughter Cathy (John) Corley, and his son-in-law Chip (Karen) Morton.  Also surviving are two grandsons Joe and John Morton, five granddaughters Elizabeth, Olivia, Mary, Anna, and Catherine Keyes, and one great grandson Jude.  Also, step grandchildren Veronica, Gabriel, Adrian, Chanel, Dawson, and Chloe.

Serving as pallbearers are Jimmy, Mickey, Tony, and David Keyes, Randy Casey, and Joe Cashion.

Visitation and Rosary will be held at St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Highlands, TX at 9:30 am on Friday, June 17, 2022, with funeral mass immediately following at 10:30 am.  Graveside service will follow the mass at Sterling White Cemetery, 11011 Crosby-Lynchburg Rd, Highlands TX 77562.  Online condolences may be made at

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June 17, 2022

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
St Jude Catholic Church (Highlands, Texas)

Funeral Mass
June 17, 2022

10:30 AM
St Jude Catholic Church (Highlands, Texas)


Sterling - White Cemetery
11011 Crosby Lynchburg Road
Highlands, TX 77396

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