Dr. I.C. Keeney talks in 2013 to school children about his life as a veterinarian. 

Dr. Ireatess Keeney, a local veterinarian for more than 50 years in Texas County, died Saturday afternoon following a short illness. He was 90.

Keeney’s journey to veterinarian medicine began with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture at the University of Missouri. Upon receiving his degree, he decided he wanted to become a veterinarian rather than teach. Without a vehicle, he often hitchhiked between Columbia and Houston before returning to Texas County in 1954 after receiving his degree.

He established his practice on Bryan Street and raised his three children with wife Margaret.

His work ethic was legendary as he rose early and often finished late at night, only to be called out in the middle of the night.

In 1981 the practice moved to North U.S. 63.

Over the years, he was a member on the boards of many agriculture-related groups and served 19 years on Landmark Bank’s Texas County board before retiring.

At a barbecue in 2004, which highlighted his 50 years of service, he told those gathered that he wouldn’t have changed anything with his long career and he’d had always done what he wanted to do with his life.

Services are 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 17, at First Baptist Church, Houston. Visitation is 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the church.

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