J. Keith Motley, 72, of Concord, NC passed away on Sunday, August 27th, 2023. Keith was born in Fayetteville, NC on May 13, 1951, to Jane Owen Motley and the late Rev. Julian Morris Motley.
Keith was raised as a pastor’s kid, growing up in various North Carolina churches that his father pastored throughout the years. Some fond memories surrounded his summers spent with friends at Camp Willow Run and Fort Caswell. During middle school & high school he worked multiple jobs including working on a tobacco farm and driving a school bus route. He loved to tell us stories from his school bus driving days. After graduating from Northern High School in 1971, he went on to receive an associates degree from Wingate College while enrolled in flight school to become a pilot.
As the years continued, he worked in public safety for Duke University, became a police officer for the city of Durham, as well as a volunteer fireman for the town of Bahama. He began flying for Piedmont Airlines in 1980 and continued in his career as Capitan Keith Motley for 37 years with USAir, and USAirways. Flying was his passion for many years and gave him opportunities to meet all kinds of people (First Lady Barbara Bush & Red Skelton to name a few) and make lifelong friends. After his career with the airlines, he enjoyed a newfound passion in being a sound engineer in various churches, performing art centers, and with local production companies.
He met Brenda Causey in 1981 while living in Wrightsville Beach, NC, and attending Wrightsville Beach Baptist Church. A mutual friend set the two up on a blind date. A proposal in pitch black darkness on the beach at Johnny Mercer’s Pier followed just 6 months later, and they were married another 5 months later. Allison & Travis came along a few years after, and their family was complete. They settled in Rougemont, NC for a few years before relocating to Concord, NC, where the family has lived since 1991.
Keith clearly loved his family but more importantly, loved his Savior, Jesus. He enjoyed traveling, loved good food, loved serving the Church, playing golf with friends, and thoroughly enjoyed talking to anyone, about anything, at any time. “I tell you what…”, he would do whatever it took to make people smile. He was so good at that.
Our favorite memories as a family were certainly our annual beach trips to the NC & SC coast, many years spent attending & serving together at Camp Paradise, ski trips out to Colorado, and of course our weekly Sunday lunches after church.
He leaves his loving wife of 41 years, Brenda Causey Motley; his daughter, Allison Carleen Maginnis and her husband Grant Maginnis; his son Travis Owen Motley and his fiancé Ashley Campbell; his mother, Jane Owen Motley; his sister Martha Motley Sloan and her husband Dale Sloan; mother-in-law Naomi Causey, sister-in-law Debi Causey, and niece Tylar Causey; along with many aunts & uncles, cousins, and a community of close friends. Words can’t begin to explain how much we already miss Keith.