Welcome to the
memorial page for
Rosalind Barnetta Keyes
March 25, 1942
~September 13, 2023
Rosalind Barnetta Keyes, affectionately known as Bonnie, was born at her family home in Danville, VA to Mabel Russell. Her grandmother, Susie McCoy, her beloved “Mama,” raised Bonnie. She attended public school in Danville with cousins and lifelong friends. Baptized in the Baptist faith at an early age, Bonnie served the Lord as a lifelong Usher.
In her high school years, Bonnie and her grandmother relocated to Elizabeth, NJ, and reunited with her mother and stepfather, William “Bill” Thomas and her Aunt Rose. Attending Battin High School for Girls, Bonnie met George W. Keyes at the Plainfield Roller-skating Rink; which was one of her favorite pastimes. In 1959, they married and remained so for 60 years. They were blessed with two children -- Cassandra D. (Sandi) and George A. (DJ Unique).
After initially residing in Newark and Elizabeth, NJ with one small child, the couple relocated to the Atlantic Highlands section of Middletown, NJ, where their second child was born.
While working for years in Newark at Travelers Insurance Co., Bonnie developed a lifelong sisterhood with Mrs. Patricia Muse. They raised their children together and shared many good memories while supporting one another in the sad times. In addition to skating, pinochle was a holiday favorite for the family during celebrations and bowling league achievements rounded out Bonnie’s favorite pastimes.
The family moved to New Shrewsbury (Tinton Falls) in 1968 and remained there for 55 years. While working full-time, parenting and managing family life, Bonnie attended the newly opened Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College. She earned her BA in Business Administration and Minor in Accounting from Monmouth College, now Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ. As a first-generation college graduate, she added many other firsts to her resume. Upon earning her degrees, Bonnie was elevated to managerial positions and acknowledged for several firsts at Allied Signal Bendix Corp. in Eatontown, NJ. She retired after 27 years of exemplary service and began a new opportunity at Smith Barney in Red Bank, NJ, which became Citi Group. She later moved to the New Brunswick location and made new enduring friendships. Bonnie did all of this while running for the Tinton Falls Board of Education, supporting higher educational pursuits for youth of Monmouth and Ocean counties, standing up against housing discrimination, leading the Monmouth County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in their largest membership intake process to date, being invited to join former Governor James McGreevey’s administration and serving a leader in her church, Quinn Chapel AME, and Continental Societies, Inc., North Jersey Shore Chapter.
Late in life, Bonnie worked for Sodexo Co., assisting them in providing services to three school districts. She later transitioned solely to Monmouth Regional High School, working with her beloved supervisor, LaMar Braxton, and staff. Bringing kindness and professionalism to all places of business, sprinkled with motherly and grandmotherly love, was Bonnie’s way. Likely, that was due to sharing many years of love and friendship with her “Just Friends” traveling buddies, who are dear friends with whom she enjoyed hosting great parties and events that were socially conscious as well as celebratory.
She is predeceased by her parents, Mabel and Bill Thomas, and her beloved husband, George.
Left to cherish her love and memories are her sister, Tawana Denise Thomas, Westfield, NJ; daughter, Cassandra Dee Keyes, Toms River, NJ; son, George Anthony Keyes, and his life partner Carrie Davis, Tinton Falls; two grandchildren, Anthony Ramel Gaskins-Keyes (Yvette), Burlington, NJ, and Cameron David Keyes, Toms River, NJ; two step-grandchildren, Dominique Davis, Maryland, and Sejah Kelly, Bound Brook, NJ; two great-grandchildren, Kayden David Amir Keyes, Neptune, NJ, and Nora Malia Gaskins, Burlington, NJ; brother-in law, Lawrence C. Keyes (Charlotte), Atlantic Highlands, NJ; as well as a host of beloved nieces, nephews; and extended family and friends.