The flower arrangement hangs on the door where she was at almost daily for the last 30 years. Inside, Carson Keele says it just isn’t the same without his mother, Carol Keele.
Carol spent most of her life here, first as kid eating with her family, and later owning the place that would become Carol’s Chicken Basket.
Carol Keele passed away last Thursday, June 6. Her only son, Carson, said she died after a three-year battle with lung cancer. She was 61.
Carson said his mother had battled cancer even longer than that, beating Cervical Cancer, Colon Cancer and Rectal Cancer.
“She was tough,” said Carson.
Carol bought the Chicken Basket, a staple of the community for least the last 50 or more years, in 1989. When she bought the business, she kept Louise Porter on board.
Carson said Porter taught his mother all about the place and she later passed it on to him.
Carson, who said he was two-weeks-old when he spent his first full day in the Chicken Basket, said his mother showed up each day while she battled cancer.
“She came by to keep tabs on me and everything I was doing,” said Carson, who became co-owner with his mother.
Carson said his mother was the hardest working person he has ever known.
“She always wanted to help people,” said Carson. “She fed people who had no money. She took care of people down on their luck. She was just a caring person who always tried to help the community any way she could.”
Carson said Carol always took in children during Christmas through Christmas Charities. Most of all, though, she was always there, always ready to serve people. She instilled that into her only child, too.
Carson graduated college, earning a degree in Business Management.
“That was her biggest achievement,” said Carson. “She wanted to see me graduate.”
Carson said he and his small staff, which includes two employees, thank the community for its support.
“The community showed up for her,” said Carson. “We appreciate it.”
The day after her funeral, Carol’s Chicken Basket was open for business.
Carol Keele would have expected nothing less.