Cover photo for Mattie Harper Keane's Obituary
Mattie Harper Keane Profile Photo
1946 Mattie 2023

Mattie Harper Keane

October 21, 1946 — July 6, 2023

October 21, 1946 – July 6, 2023

Mattie Harper Keane (“Kiki”) age 76, passed away peacefully on July 6th after a courageous battle with cancer. Her departure has left a void in the hearts of those who knew and loved her. As we remember her, we celebrate a life filled with love, joy, and unforgettable experiences.

Mattie was born to Charles B. Harper and Gladys Mills Harper on October 21, 1946 in Greenville, Alabama. While her father was as an officer in the United States Army, Mattie and her family lived in many different places including Japan and Germany. In her high school years Mattie and her family lived in Waverly Hall and Pine Mountain, GA. She graduated from Harris County High School in 1965, where she was named Miss Harris County and Homecoming Queen her senior year. Mattie first attended Mercer University then went on to graduate from Auburn University in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Education.

Family was the cornerstone of Mattie's life, and her dedication to her daughter Melanie, son-in-law Mark, and three incredible grandchildren was unwavering. She found immense joy in witnessing their achievements, supporting their dreams, and creating cherished memories together. Her love knew no bounds and served as an unwavering source of strength for her family.

Mattie's adventurous spirit took her on many journeys across the globe, and she cherished every moment spent exploring new horizons with her family and friends. Her radiant smile had the power to light up any room, and her charismatic presence made everyone feel welcome and loved. Mattie had a gift for forging deep connections and treasured the friendships she cultivated throughout her life.

She had a unique way of expressing her love through thoughtful gestures and meaningful experiences. Whether it was surprising her family with a hot air balloon ride, an enchanting trip to Italy, or introducing her grandchildren to the wonders of New York City, Mattie understood the value of creating lasting memories and giving the gift of adventure to her loved ones.

Mattie faced the pain of loss when her late-husband, John Keane, a retired attorney and Navy fighter pilot who bravely served in Korea, passed away in 1996. Together, they operated the Sunrise Place Bed and Breakfast in Blairsville, Georgia, where their warm hospitality touched the lives of countless guests.

Leaving behind a legacy of love, Mattie is survived by her daughter, Melanie, and son-in-law, Mark Ford, along with her grandchildren, Andrew, Nathan, and Haley Ford. She is also survived by her siblings, Pat Thomas and her husband Earl, Charles B. Harper (predeceased by his wife, Donna), and Dwight Harper and his wife Rose, her nieces and nephews, Tracy (Thomas) Prescher and her husband Mike, Cliff Thomas and his wife Melissa, Wesley B. Harper and his wife Beth, Lauren Harper, Michael Harper and his wife Renee, Nicholas Harper and his wife Taryn and all the nieces’ and nephews’ beautiful children.

To honor and celebrate Mattie, a joyous celebration of life will be held Sunday, August 13, from 2pm-4pm at the Dunwoody Nature Center North Woods Pavilion, 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody, GA. All who knew Matties are welcome to gather together, share stories, and celebrate the indelible mark Mattie left on our lives.

Cochran Funeral Home of Blairsville is honored to be serving the family of Mattie Harper Keane.  Please share your condolences online at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mattie Harper Keane, please visit our flower store.


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