Bryan Douglas Keeling, 56, of Vanderpool, went to be with the Lord on December 5, 2021, in San Antonio, after suffering irreparable damage to his heart and lungs after an incident with an Aoudad. He was born in Fairfax, Virginia, to Harry Lee Keeling and Elva Alta (Reed) Keeling on June 3, 1965. He married Debbie (Thompson) Keeling on July 30, 1990, in Bandera.
His family moved to Medina when he was young, and he grew up there. He went to Medina School, where he was known for playing football and being an all-around jokester. He worked as a ranch hand for Siesta Valley Ranch, the ranch manager at Bug Scuffle Ranch, and was most recently the wildlife manager and ranch hand at Growing Rocks Ranch. He guided bowhunters for 21 years at Bug Scuffle. He was part of the Medina Volunteer Fire Department in the 1980s and the Vanderpool Volunteer Fire Department from 1998 to 2021, serving as captain and assistant chief. He was trained in exotic game capture and was a scorer for the Lone Star Bowhunters Association, Trophy Game Records, and Records of Exotics. He was a life member of Traditional Bowhunters of Texas and previously served as regional representative for both TBOT and LSBA. He was involved in 3D archery through TBOT, LSBA, the International Bowhunting Organization, and local archery clubs. He sponsored youth hunts for LSBA and TBOT. He was inducted into the LSBA Hall of Fame alongside his wife in 2016.
He first began bowhunting in 1984, but rekindled his interest in 1992 after being introduced to the LSBA and TBOT by his dear friend, Wyatt Birkner. He harvested a multitude of species from mice to elk throughout his lifetime. His most unique harvest was a capybara, after which a new category was added to the Texas Bowhunting and Bowfishing Records. He preferred shooting with a traditional bow and enjoyed bowfishing. He was well known for introducing many people, young and old, to the bowhunting world. Bryan said that through bowhunting, he met some of the best people in the world and made lasting friendships. Bryan believed that if you take your kids hunting, you don’t have to hunt for your kids.
Bryan’s love for his family, especially his granddaughters, was second only to his faith in Jesus. He and his wife did everything together: hunting, fishing, raising a family, and going to church. They made a point to enjoy family meals together around the dinner table. He was a pillar in his community who helped out anyone with anything. He was a strong man of faith. He was brought up and baptized at the Medina Church of Christ and later a member of the Living Waters Church of Utopia. He will be remembered for his heart for service, joyful demeanor, pension for practical jokes, and gift for storytelling.
Bryan was preceded in death by his father Harry Keeling, granddaughter Madeline Bryn Haines, both sets of grandparents, father-in-law Elvin Winston Thompson, and mother-in-law Nancy Ellen Coble Thompson.
He is survived by his wife Debbie, daughter Codi Haines and her husband Philip, daughter Chloe Keeling, mother Elva Keeling, stepmother Marian Salmons, brother Robert Keeling and his wife Donna, sister Sharon Curry and her husband Craig, brother John Keeling, sister Carolyn Anderson and her husband William, granddaughters Abigail and Grayson Haines, aunt Anita McMinn, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held at 2:30 pm on Sunday, December 19, 2021, at Living Waters Church in Utopia, with Robert Richarz officiating. Reception is to immediately follow at the Utopia Community Center. A private graveside service for the family and community will be held at the Vanderpool Cemetery on Monday at 1 p.m.
Flowers may be sent to the Living Waters Church and donations in his honor may be sent to The Water Hole via the Living Waters Church.
The family wishes to extend their sincere thanks to Dr. Saleh Jaafar and all the CVICU staff at Methodist Hospital for trying so hard to save Bryan.
Condolences may be sent at www.grimesfuneralchapels. com.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Grimes Funeral Chapels of Kerrville.