Saying Goodbye to a Founder, Louise Kegley

The Historical Society of Western Virginia recently said goodbye to Louise F. Kegley, who until her death Jan. 6 was the last surviving member of the original board of the Society. The Historical Society celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, and Louise and her husband, George Kegley, have supported the organization for its entire existence. George, an emeritus board member and editor of the annual History Journal, is an active volunteer at the O. Winston Link Museum and the History Museum of Western Virginia and at their events.

Louise Kegley

The couple’s meeting even encompasses history; the two met while working at The Roanoke Times, which at the time was owned by Louise’s grandfather, Junius Blair Fishburn.  She grew up at Mountain View, a mansion the Fishburn family gave to Roanoke City along with many other lands, including Mill Mountain. Mountain View now serves as a recreation center. The couple made their home at the historic 19th century Monterey farm, which they purchased in 1968 and have protected through the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Louise Kegley was 85. She was predeceased by her parents, Dr. Richard Fowlkes of Richmond and Louise Fishburn Fowlkes of Roanoke.  Among those she leaves behind are her husband of 59 ½ years, George; son George Andrew Kegley, Jr. (Andy) and Nan, of Wytheville; daughter Mary Louise (Sissy) of Roanoke; sons Robert Parker Kegley (Robert) and Melissa, of Wytheville; and Richard Fowlkes Kegley (Dickie) and Kristy, of Atlanta; nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Louise had many favorite causes: Mary Baldwin College, where she served on the Board of Trustees; the Mill Mountain Advisory Committee and other conservation interests, and the J.B. and Grace Fishburn Memorial Fund, to which memorial donations can be made, care of the Foundation for Roanoke Valley, P.O. Box 1159, Roanoke, Va. 24006. The family also encourages donations to the charity of your choice.

Services were Jan. 9.


Board Member, Historical Society of Western Virginia Graduate: Hollins University, BA and MALS in English; Virginia Western Community College, AA in Business Administration Profession: Writer, editor