December 27, 1853 - September 8, 1906
|Mrs. ANNA BOATNER KEENER was born in East Baton Rouge Parish, near Baker, La., Dec. 27, 1853, entered into rest Sept. 8, 1906. Her father was Colonel I. H. Boatner, her mother Mrs. Anna Smith Young. She was educated at Baton Rouge, La., joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, when 16 years of age, and, though often tempted to break the rules of the Church by participating in worldly amusements, she was always faithful to her Church vows in her young life. She was the oldest of four children and the only daughter of the family. Her loving devotion and self-sacrifice as a daughter in the hour of long illness of both her father and mother were the out-come of the self-forgetful spirit of her Master “who pleased not himself,” but poured out his life for the world. Her life was one of loving self-sacrifice for her Savior and her family.
In October 1880, she married the Rev. S. S. Keener, and became a true helpmeet in the itinerant ministry. With a heart full of deepest sympathy for all in trouble and distress, and full of bounding cheer for those who were overborne with difficult task and heart-breaking trials, she ministered to many as the pastor’s wife for twenty-five years. For fifteen years successively she organized a Children’s Missionary Society, forwarding the funds to the City of Mexico to aid in the Mary Keener Institute. During the revivals she counseled with those under conviction and led them to Christ as a personal Savior. As a faithful, earnest Sunday school teacher, she wrought for many years.
She was full of cheerful, Christian sincerity and spurned all mere-pretenses. The closest scrutiny revealed her character to be noble and true. Acquaintances were converted into friends, who loved her devotedly the more they knew her. Her devotion to her husband’s family was as full of self-sacrifice as for the members of her own family. All her own family passed away before she was called.
After seven long weeks of suffering and pain she passed so pain-lessly into Paradise that “she never saw death.” Anticipating death during all her illness, her one thought was of the desolation and lone-liness of her husband. There was no fear of death; her trust was in the death of her Lord, the mercy of her Savior. Morning and evening she called for prayer and the reading of the Bible. The last day of her life she prayed for rest and ease from pain, and the Lord came for her at noon.
She lived not- unto herself, but her life was spent for others. The Master overtook her like he did the two disciples on the way to Emmaus. He received her spirit and in a moment she stepped from life to “more abundant life.” She hath done what she could and the memory of a noble, self-sacrificing life—lived for others—abides in the hearts of many friends far and near throughout the Louisiana Conference. The most beautiful characteristics of this saintly woman were her devotion to her Lord, her fidelity to his Church, her love for her husband and the sweet, radiant disposition that illumined her own life and scattered sunshine amid those with whom she was associated. She is not dead. Her memory is enshrined in the hearts of thousands. The writer remembers her sweet voice as it arose in hymns of praise in the sanctuary. She went away, and lo! there was silence for an instant in the heavenly throng and another voice was added to the choir.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1906, page 52, C. C. Miller|