A native of Roanoke, Robert L.A. Keeley (Bob) had already served in the U.S. Navy before returning to his roots and enrolling at Roanoke College in 1940. At Roanoke, he was involved in the Roanoke College Choir and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Fraternity.
Bob continued his education at the University of Virginia, receiving his medical degree in 1944. He would later be appointed clinical professor of surgery at the University Of Virginia School Of Medicine in 1978, a position he held for many years.
After completing his internship at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia and his residency at Duke University Medical Center, Dr. Keeley was appointed instructor in surgery at Duke in 1954 and became board certified in both general surgery and thoracic surgery. In 1957, Dr. Keeley helped establish the Jefferson Surgical Clinic in Roanoke; forty-five years later, he continued to see patients in his office at least once a week and assisted his partners as needed.
Dr. Keeley was a leading luminary for Carilion Health System where he is on staff at both Carilion Roanoke Community and Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospitals. He served as medical director of Carilion's Medical/Surgical Service Line since 1996. Among his many contributions to Carilion, Dr. Keeley was chief of surgery at both Roanoke Community and Roanoke Memorial Hospitals, as well as chief of staff at Roanoke Community and chief of thoracic division at Roanoke Memorial.
Dr. Keeley's commitment to medicine and his community was unwavering. He was presented the Physician's Award for Community Service by the Medical Society of Virginia in 1981. He was selected Alumnus Member of the Alpha Omega Honor Medical Society at the University of Virginia in 1988, and was named Outstanding Medical Alumnus of the Year by the University of Virginia in 2001. A scholarship in Dr. Keeley's name was established by the Virginia Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Foundation. In 1992, Bob received Roanoke College's distinguished alumni recognition for his many accomplishments and contributions to the community. He served the College as an Associate for countless years.
Doctor Robert L.A. Keeley was married to Nina, for over 50 years. Together they had seven daughters and eight sons.
Robert L.A. Keeley received the Roanoke College Medal in 2002.