Ezell (Tiny) Keyes of Chicago, Illinois was born on December 29, 1930 in Itta Bena, Mississippi to the parents of Narcisse Barrett and Ernest Keyes. He departed this life on Saturday, October 5th, 2019 at the age of 88. Determined, Resilience, Courage and Strength are all words that describe Tiny Keyes. Tiny accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior at an early age and was a deacon at Starlight St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, IL. Tiny attended Itta Bena Public Schools in Itta Bena, MS. In the early 1950’s, Tiny migrated to Chicago, IL where he worked at Northern Home Furniture for many years. He later retired from Chicago Board of Education in 1993.
Known for his enormous heart, listening ear and his quiet but meek personality, Tiny loved to have a great time and he was never at a loss for words, whether it was knowledgeable or comical, it was all in love. He dedicated his life to helping not only his immediate family but those that crossed his path daily, providing good counsel with compassion and love. On Saturday morning October 5th, 2019 Tiny was called from labor to reward as he peacefully slipped away.
He was preceded in death by his parents Narcisse Barrett and Ernest Keyes; his brother Hosie Williams, sons; Ezell Keyes Jr. and Eugene Thompson, daughter; Rochelle Thompson. Ezell (Tiny) Keyes married Gladys (Arnold) in July 1971 and to that union was a loving family that included seven sons and four daughters. To embrace precious memories, Tiny leaves his wife Gladys Keyes, his siblings Bonnie Walton of Memphis, TN; Clara Trice of Sacramento, CA; Vi-Etta Bew of Joliet, IL; three daughters; Emma (Charles) Miller of Hazlehurst, MS, Sabrina Keyes of Munster, IN and Pamela Hawkins of Riverdale, IL; five sons; Derrick (Tammy) Thompson of Miller Beach, IN Danny Keyes of Springfield, IL Robert (Charlotte) Thompson of Harvey, IL Lamar (Ella) Thompson of Chicago, IL and Kelvin Thompson of Chicago, IL. Tiny leaves numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. The family would be remised not to acknowledge the commitment, around the clock support and great appreciation to his daughter Sabrina Keyes for her unwavering and unconditional love for her dad.
The family of EZELL (TINY) KEYES acknowledges with sincere appreciation, the many acts of kindness and good deeds you have done. We appreciate each expression of sympathy. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to, Reverend C.B. Bradford Sr. and the membership of Starlight St. James Missionary Baptist Church. Thank you all for your prayers, love and support. Whether it was a call, card, a prayer or your presence; we have been greatly blessed and shall forever remember your kindness. God bless each of you.