Elwain McKeen

Formerly of Baker City and Haines, 1928-2020

Rev. Elwain E. McKeen, 91, formerly of Baker City and Haines, died peacefully of natural causes on May 17, 2020, in Bend.

Elwain was born on Oct. 27, 1928, at Whitefish, Montana, to Floyd and Hazel (Rogers) McKeen. When he was 5 years old his mother passed away of tuberculosis, and he was placed in an orphanage by the state until age 13. He was brought home and at the age of 17 his father passed away.

He attended high school at Klamath Falls, where he met Lois E. Morgan, whom he married on Aug. 17, 1947, while on leave from the U.S. Army which he had joined in early 1946. He was part of the World War II Occupation Force, Japan, and served in Korea until October of 1949.

In December 1950 Elwain and Lois moved to Seattle, where they attended Seattle Pacific College. While in the Seattle area they participated in the ministry of the Korean sailors, Olive Branch Missions, and the startup of Lynwood Free Methodist Church.

In 1965 they moved to Oakland, California. From 1968 to 1970 they were in Liberia, West Africa, as missionaries. Following their return to the States, Elwain worked at various jobs over the years — in the medical field, as a truck driver, and he pastored a couple of small churches. Elwain moved to Baker City in 1992 where he served as pastor to the seniors at the Nazarene Church, and Chaplain for the Baker County Sheriff’s Office.

Elwain is survived by one remaining sister, Eunice; his children: Elwain Jr., Raphael, and Eunice; his grandchildren: Verland, Cynthianna, Angel, Sarah, Jeremiah, Genevieve, Kourtney, Benjamin and Ariel; 14 great-grandchildren, 5 great-great-grandchildren, and a host of nephews and nieces.

Elwain was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Lois; and five sisters.

Elwain loved his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and was always sharing the good news with all he met. Even though he will be greatly missed, we, his family and friends, rejoice in his graduation to Heaven.

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