Nice job on short notice by reporter Stephanie Reighart capturing a little bit of the community affection for Sam Keeney, who died last week.
See Stephanie’s story here.I work Sunday nights with Stephanie and, as we tried to come up with sources for the story, I emailed my church list to see what responses we would get. We heard from the Rev. Tom Shelley before deadline, but most people are not thinking about their email on a Sunday night.
By mid-morning today, however, several folks had read my email and sent or called me with their memories of Sam, a longtime church organist who ran Sam Keeney Organ and Piano Center Inc. in York Township for many years.
Since the story has run, I wanted to share a few of these memories here (Check back. I will keep adding to these memories as I receive them):
* “I have known Sam all my life. When he started school in first grade, his mother asked if he could walk with me to school at Springfield Township Consolidated School. I was in fifth grade and she was concerned about Sam walking by himself along the highway. We walked to school together nearly every day for quite a long time.
“The LaRose Accordion Studio went door to door through Jacobus offering lessons to anyone who was interested, and at that time Sam began taking accordion lessons. Since we lived a few houses down the street from the Keeneys, we could often hear Sam practicing and learning to play the instrument. Especially in the summertime when the doors and windows were open, we could hear him for hours and hours at a time playing his accordion, developing his musical talent, eventually moving on to playing the organ.
“I have always had a great deal of respect for Sam’s musical talent and ambition from having observed his growth and development from the very beginning. His music has brought much joy and pleasure to many, many listeners and friends throughout his life. He has been an inspiration to many young people encouraging and teaching them the enjoyment that music brings into life. Sam will be missed by many.”
Donna Snyder, Organist
Christ United Methodist Church
* “I was so blessed and touched by Sam Keeney as he shared his music for many years at the York Rescue Mission Annual Banquet. As he played I just wanted to join in and lift praise to the Lord with him. Sam will be greatly missed. Well Done, Good & Faithful Servant!”
“His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matt. 25:23.