The University of Lynchburg community lost two professors last week. Keith Warren Adams, an adjunct instructor of history, died peacefully at Lynchburg General Hospital of a rare form of leukemia on May 15. Dr. Joseph T. Keeley, an adjunct instructor of chemistry, died of natural causes at his home in Lynchburg on May 13.
The husband of Deborah Durham for 37 years, Adams was born on Oct. 2, 1948, in Georgia. After growing up in Maryland and serving in the U.S. Air Force, he graduated from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. His college year spent in Athens sparked a lifelong love for archaeology. A master’s degree in geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill followed, along with archaeology studies at Boston University. His work took him around the world: to woodlands and historical sites in New England, to the Midwest, to the Iron Age sites in Botswana, and to study the Bronze Age in Turkey.
After moving to Virginia, Adams surveyed prehistoric sites at Poplar Forest. He also directed fieldwork at Point of Honor; worked on projects in Amherst, Fincastle, and New London; and was director of the Hurt & Proffitt Archaeology and Material Conservation Laboratories at Historic Sandusky, which is affiliated with the University of Lynchburg.
He also participated in the Kaymakç Archaeological Project and the Central Lydia Archaeological Survey in Turkey. Adams taught archaeology classes at the University of Lynchburg for the past five years and at Sweet Briar College in the 1990s and 2000s.
Born on May 29, 1956, in Newport, Rhode Island, Joseph Keeley earned his bachelor’s degree at Providence College and his master’s and doctorate at Brown University. He spent most of his career working as a plasma physicist focused on fuel cells and nuclear energy, authoring numerous scientific publications, and holding several patents.
Keeley eventually settled in Lynchburg, where he worked as a research chemist for McDermott Inc. and a research engineer for BWXT. He also was a senior technical specialist with Babcock & Wilcox nuclear operations.
At the time of his death, Keeley was a consultant with BWXT and an adjunct instructor at Lynchburg for the past three years. A full obituary can be found here.