The Passing of Joe Keathley

The VirtualBoxwell Team is sad to announce the passing of Joe Keathley.  Keathley was a Parnell Con Yard staff member in 1960, the year Boxwell on Old Hickory held its first summer camp.  Years later, he joined the ranks of the professional staff and returned to Camp Stahlman in 1970 as Camp Director.  Below is his official obituary from the Sparta News.


Joseph Lyle “Joe” Keathley


Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 11:29 AM CDT

Joseph Lyle “Joe” Keathley, 68, of Cookeville, passed away Aug. 27, 2013, at his residence.

Mr. Keathley was born Dec. 29, 1944, to Anthony Keathley and Novella Holland Keathley.

He was a 1964 graduate of White County High School and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in White County as well. After graduation from Tennessee Tech, he was a professional Boy Scout for 43 years and served Nashville and Jackson, in Tennessee, and Lexington, Ky. He also served in the Army National Guard. He attended Cumberland Presbyterian Church and was an avid golfer.

He was preceded in death by his parents; stepmother, Vida Keathley; sister Carolyn Keathley Andrews; and brother David Keathley.

Survivors include his wife, Pennie Keathley, of Cookeville; children and their spouses, Scott and Teresa Smith, of Cookeville, Sarah and Trevor Hoover, of Hilham; niece, Lori Andrews Crook, of Atlanta; great-nephew, Elijah Dabney; and great-niece, Rachel Dabney.

Funeral service will be 1 p.m., Aug. 30, 2013, at Hunter Funeral Home, with burial in Peeled Chestnut Cemetery. The family will receive friends 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Aug. 30, at the funeral home. Dr. Charles McCaskey will officiate.

Jerry Keathley, Dale Keathley, Ben Holland, Scott Smith, Trevor Hoover, Chad Huddleston will serve as pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Wounded Warrior Project, Tennessee Fisher House or American Cancer Society.

Hunter Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements

From the Archives: August 25, 2013

1999 was the 40th Anniversary of Boxwell on Old Hickory Lake.  It was also the third staff reunion.  As you can imagine, 40 years of staff had become quite an undertaking to recruit and invite!

Nevertheless, perhaps the real gem of the 40th reunion was teh pre-1960 group.  Pictured here are some of the earliest staff members to associated with Boxwell Reservation at Old Hickory.  From left to right are Howard Olsen, Morris Smiley, Coleman Wright and Bob Chaffin.  HOward Olson of course is the namesake of the current Howard Olson OA Lodge.  Morris Smiley was one of the reservation’s first cooks.  Coleman Wright was Old Hickory Boxwell’s first ranger and Bob Chaffin was one of the first Camp Directors, when Camp Directors were still professional Scouters, i.e. District Executives.  A truly remarkable group!

Who do you want to see at the 2014 reunion?  Tell us below.  Then, spread the word!  We’re still trying to get people to register!!  Make this address go viral!

1999 Reunion

1999 Reunion. L-R: Howard Olson, Morris Smiley, Coleman Wright, and Bob Chaffin.

From The Archives: August 18, 2013

The “Great Staff Hunt” continues!  We have 56 people who has registered so far.  This is a great start, but there are SO MANY MORE staff out there.  If you haven’t signed up, do so now.  And then, tell your friends!  Get them to sign up too! Spread this link to every former staff member you know: Let’s go viral with this!

So, why should you sign up?  So that we can invite you to the 2014 Staff Reunion!  2014 will be the 55th Anniversary of Boxwell on Old Hickory Lake. Not only will it be a chance to “live a day of camp” if you haven’t done so in recent years, but it will also be a chance to catch up with old friends.  Every reunion has a portion of the event where staff are grouped together and group photos are taken.  Thus, this week’s photo is from the 1989 reunion and showcases the 1980-1984 staff who attended the reunion.  Only four people in the group people have registered for 2014!

We hope you’ll come, but we can’t invite you if you don’t register your address!

1989 reunion, 1980-1984 group

This is the 1980-1984 group at the 1989 Staff Reunion. Do you see any familiar faces?
Front Row (L-R): Brian Luther, Matthew Bailey, Jimmy Major, Mike Hayes, Ron Bailey, Lance Ussery, Bob Smith
Second Row (L-R): Jim Mullions, Eric Pelren, Mike Prevett, John Estes, Jack Holt, David Minchey, Russell Parham
Back Row (L-R): Greg Weddington, Brad Luther, John Hickman, David Pelren, Mike Brown, Wilson Temples, Bob Smith, Perry Bruce, Brian Wood, Doug Luther


From the Archives, Mid-Week Update

As we continue trying to gather names in the “Great Staff Hunt,” allow me to remind all former staff members of the following link: We have 53 people who have registered so far.  I know there are more out there!

Below is the schedule for the 1983 Boxwell Staff Reunion.  The goal of the 1983 Reunion was to recreate a Day at Camp.  What do you think of this approach?  What would you like to see at the 2014 reunion?  Give us your thoughts!

1983 Schedule

The Schedule of Events for the 1983 Reunion. Note the Map of Boxwell bleeding through the other side of the handout. Which of these events would you like to see again? What do you think about the date?

From the Archives: The 1983 Reunion

In an effort to get everyone fired up about the reunion, we will focus on previous reunions for the next few weeks. The very first Boxwell Reunion was put together by a group of former staff members, many of whom had been professionals as well, in the summer of 1983.  The entire project was run by volunteers, not the Council, which set the tone for most of the following reunions.  The idea behind the reunion was not only to pull together as many former staff members as possible, but to create a program that recreated a day at Boxwell.  To that end, activity areas were open (archery, rifle, the waterfronts) in the afternoon.  These events were followed by an awards dinner and then a campfire.  If you wanted, you could even stay the night on the reservation.

So, to commemorate this first reunion–now 30 years ago–we post the below image of a Critter Crawl race from the 1983 Reunion.

Critter Crawl, 1983 Reunion

Former Boxwell staff members and spouses participate in a Critter Crawl at Camp Stahlman for the first Boxwell Staff Reunion in 1983. Those wearing the green and white hats are Reunion Staff.

If you are a staff member (former or current), we encourage you to register your info for the 2014 Reunion.  We need to know where you are.  Follow this link: