Cover photo for Charlotte Arizona Keesee's Obituary
Charlotte Arizona Keesee Profile Photo
1935 Charlotte 2022

Charlotte Arizona Keesee

May 23, 1935 — March 5, 2022

Age 86, transitioned March 5, 2022.

Charlotte Arizona Keesee, 86, completed her work on earth on March 5, 2022. Born Arizona Harris on May 23, 1935, to the late John and Alberta Harris in Romulus, Alabama, she was the seventh of ten children. Reared in the Holly Springs Baptist Church in Romulus, she dedicated her life to Christ at an early age. Her life was full of love and tenacious faith as she embraced being a wife, mother, grandmother, entrepreneur, mentor, and pioneer.

She was educated in the Tuscaloosa County School System. After graduating from high school, she briefly attended Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In 1953, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Upon arriving in Nashville, she embraced the name Charlotte Arizona while enrolled at Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial University, currently known as Tennessee State University (TSU). She attended TSU for two and half years before transferring to the Nashville School of Business. During this time, Charlotte met William Henry Keesee, and they were married in December 1955. Two bright, intelligent, and creative children were born to this union—Litrechia and Henry.

Charlotte was an educated woman who empowered others to serve family and community. As a founding member of New Metropolitan Christian Missionary Baptist Church in North Nashville, Charlotte faithfully served under the leadership of Pastor Johnny Grimes as a trustee and willing worker in several auxiliaries. Even when her health declined, Charlotte remained faithful to her post as the Secretary of the Board of Trustees from 1990 until her transition in 2022. Sharing the love of God through daily living was important to her. This was known by the many lives she touched through the weekly Bible studies she led. As a business owner, she fed many children who were unable to buy food in her store. Instead of waiting for someone else to rise to the occasion, Charlotte understood her purpose and started an outreach ministry to support neighborhood children and the community at-large. The outreach ministry continues to flourish with her church, New Metropolitan Christian Missionary Baptist Church. Many people attribute her level of service to a generation of loyalty, but it was in Charlotte’s heart to do the work of the Lord while it was day.
Through her educational pursuits, she earned a B.S. in Business from the Nashville Business School and two additional degrees in Public Speaking and Public Health from TSU. Before venturing out as an entrepreneur, Charlotte was employed as a marketing expert with the Sunday School Publishing Board, which is also referred to as the National Baptist Publishing Board.

As a successful entrepreneur with the Midas touch, she owned and operated numerous businesses—often championing the causes of and care for the elderly. Some of the companies she started were Keesee Convenience Store in North Nashville (1973 – 1990) and Keesee Family Care Home for the Aged with two locations in East Nashville (1976 – 2014). Trailblazing the way, Charlotte’s Home for the Aged was established because of her fervent commitment to excellence and grassroots endeavors. Specifically, Charlotte led a committee for 3-4 years to help get a bill passed through the Tennessee Legislature for elder care funding in Nashville, Memphis, and Chattanooga. As a result, Charlotte’s Home for the Aged was the first of its kind to operate as a licensed facility in the state of Tennessee.

Charlotte’s work with veterans and advocacy for mental health did not go unnoticed. During the Clinton Administration, she was invited to the White House for her service and excellence in the field. On June 3, 2017, Mayor Megan Barry recognized Charlotte as the first African American female licensed for residential care in the state of Tennessee. She was also one of the first Black females to be invited to serve on the National Board for Residential Care Facilities. An educator for residential care, Charlotte cared for many clients and veterans—often referring to them as family. She often reminded practitioners and entrepreneurs to adopt this perspective when traveling and consulting throughout the state.

Charlotte provided jobs and support as a devoted mentor to young and old throughout the southeast region. She believed in working hard and enjoying life. Her hobbies included traveling, fishing, catalog shopping, and gardening. For many years, she gave out of the abundance of her heart and money as a loyal sponsor for Feed the Children charitable organization. Among her many civic engagements, she was a proud member of the Chapter #25 International Order of the Eastern Star (OES). Charlotte also found much pleasure in mathematical activities and celebrating with family. Her family will fondly remember some of her favorite phrases: “Y’all Be Sweet,” “Ain’t No Baby Like Granny’s Baby,” and “Hush Your Mouth!” Encountering Charlotte was a blessing, and her legacy stands as a testament of perseverance, service, and love. She will never be forgotten.

Loving memories will remain in the hearts of her children, Litrechia Keesee, Jackson (Willie Jackson), and Henry Keesee; sister, Elaine Roberson Peebles; affectionately known as her daughters, Linda (Harold) Tyler-Goins, Angela Peebles, and Sandra Elliott; grandchildren, Mariceo Jackson, Terra Bedell, Korey Jackson, Erica (Kelvin) Jordan, Martina Jackson, Takisha (Glynn) Ferguson, Henry (Shanielle) Keesee II, O.J. Jones, Shemeka Word, Shawn Keesee, Quentin Keesee, Diamond Briggs; great grandchildren, Vonnie, Thomas, Jacquese, Jadiss, Jamal, Mariceo Jr, Jonathan, Zhniya, Micheal, Javin, Janiah, Aiden, Resee, London, Jace, Abel, Taylor, Harli, Keeson; great great grandchild, Sky’lynn; nephews, Jeremiah, Dennis, Derwin, Clinton, James, Donald, David, Michael, Timothy, Chris, Leon, Anthony; nieces, Ladonna, Marilyn, Gwendolyn, Veda, Nanassa, Kimberely, Lillian, Lora, Katrina, Carolyn, Robin, Lisa; sisters-in-law, Nadine Keesee, Shirley Keesee, Marian Keesee; devoted friend, Willie Moore and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.

https://www.tributeslides.com/tributes/show/Z7M2G35588S75B4X
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, March 19, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

New Metropolitan Christian Missionary Baptist Church 1700 9th Avenue North

1700 9th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208

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