Knoxville — Today, Wednesday, May 1, has been declared Earl McKeever Day in the City of Knoxville.
Dr. Earl McKeever came to work in Knoxville 50 years ago. The Knoxville Hospital and Clinics has planned a host of celebrations in honor of this accomplishment. Honors began this morning with a presentation in which all of KHC's staff members were present.
KHC CEO Kevin Kincaid opened the celebration by sharing some of McKeever's history. He thanked McKeever for his years of service.
Kincaid told the Journal-Express that everything about society has become transient, and McKeever's longevity blows away that stereotype. He added that McKeever could be "sitting with his feet up somewhere," but he remains active in his career because he enjoys it.
"It's a calling," Kincaid said of medicine. "Dr. McKeever has answered that call."
Mayor Don Zoutte then read a proclamation he had prepared in honor of McKeever. In an action rarely taken by a Knoxville Mayor, McKeever was presented with the key to the city.
When given the opportunity to address the crowd, McKeever praised his co-workers.
"We have a great group of people," McKeever said. "You have made my life special. Thank you."
McKeever later said he was surprised about the celebration, even though the hospital has celebrated his past milestones. He said he still has a passion for his work, and he enthusiastically comes to work every day. Each day comes with its own challenges and experiences.
"There's nothing I'd like to do more," McKeever said.
A native of the St. Louis area, McKeever has only good things to say about his home for the past 50 years. He said Knoxville is a great place, provides the best situation to raise a family and he has no desire to be anywhere else.
"It's a wonderful place," McKeever added.
Today is just one of the celebrations to be held in honor of McKeever. On Saturday, May 4, from 6-8 p.m., the many people he has helped bring into this world intend to gather for a "McKeever Baby" celebration at Knoxville HIgh School. A special photo is planned for 7 p.m.
The next day, Sunday, May 5, from 2-4 p.m., KHS will be the site for an Open House in McKeever's honor.
Look for more on the lfie and career of McKeever in the May 3 print edition.