Leroy Keese, 78, died Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018.

After graduating from Texas A&M University, he moved to Philadelphia to begin working for the U.S. Testing Company. During that time, he was instrumental in starting wool testing for carpets for the Northeast carpet mills. In 1963, he began working for Forte, bidding on wool at warehouses and wool pool sales across the country, and he oversaw the wool scouring operation in Brady, TX.

Keese was a well-liked and respected member of the wool and mohair industry. He will be remembered for his kind nature, keen wool buying skills, and as a man who cared deeply for his family. As a reflection of his commitment to fairness, doing a good job, and dedication to the industry, when Leroy was at a wool sale, he was known to write a description of every lot of wool, even if he had no order.

The Wool Roundtable honored Leroy as one of the founding members with the first-ever American Wool Excellence Award in 2007. Among other accomplishments, he was credited with buying more than 200 million pounds of wool and mohair during his 35-year career with Forte Dupee Sawyer Co.

Leroy is survived by wife Jo Keese of Brady; son Darrell (Teresa) Keese of Brady; daughter Nancy Keese of Seabrook; and brother Earl Keese of Hilton Head, NC.

A memorial service was held Saturday, Jan. 20, at the First United Methodist Church in Brady, under the direction of Leatherwood Memorial Chapels.

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