LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Two well known educators who spent more than a decade of their careers at Cameron University and Lawton Public School are being remembered. Loren and Rebecca McKeown died in a car crash on Thanksgiving Day.
People said the McKeowns' were the kindest and most loving people in the Lawton community. They cherished education, friends and family, and their church. Friends said it's hard losing them in a tragic accident, but their loving spirit will live on.
"It's devastating, it's still devastating, the way in which it happened and they were so vital and contributing in this community. the entire community is really going to miss them," said Kuchta.
Loren and Rebecca McKeown were staples in the Lawton community and education played a key role in their lives. Loren served as the chairman of the Language Arts Department for half of his 28 years at Cameron University.
"In the retired status working with him on our Cameron Campus Ministry Board he was there he had ideas, he was faithful to be present and he participated in activities in the support of that organization," said Kuchta.
The couple also had a scholarship set up in their name at Cameron University last year. Rebecca was a teacher at Woodland Hills Elementary for five years, before becoming the assistant principal at Douglass Learning Center for two years. She also served as principal at Lincoln Elementary School for five years, and Hugh Bish Elementary School for 15 years. Teaching was her passion.
"The friendliest person in the world, her teachers and her students all just adored her. Rebecca always had a smile on her face. She could handle any kind of situation you just enjoyed being in her company," said Kuchta.
After she retired, Rebecca and one of her best friends started a group called First Thursday Friends. For 16 years, the group volunteered their time traveling to different parts of the state and across the country.
"One of the things I think we enjoyed the most was a trip to that we made to Oklahoma City to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. We all had ties to that group and they took all the way through the whole process," said Kuchta.
The couple had been married for nearly 59 years and those who knew them said their passing will be tough pill to swallow.
"When I think of them I can't help but think how wonderful in a way they were able to die together and not have to go through a long illness with one another or see one another suffer they are escaping that and for that I'm thankful," said Jones.
The McKeowns' funeral service will be held Thursday morning at St. Paul's United Methodist Church. The service starts at 10 a.m.
They leave behind four children, nine grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren.