Keith Miles, 61, Native of Big Estate, SC passed away Tuesday, February 9th, 2021, in New York. Professional Services are entrusted to Granby's Funeral Service and Locally Entrusted to Allen Funeral Home. We welcome you to provide your thoughts and memories on our Tribute Wall.
Keith Avery Miles was born on August 28, 1959, in Beaufort, South Carolina to his parents Thurman McNeill Sr. and Mary Miles. He was raised in a loving and supportive home in Beaufort surrounded by family. He cherished his cousins and the many life lessons learned through their time together. Keith was an active young man, playing many sports including hunting and fish. Keith later moved to Brooklyn, New York, and developed one of his first loves, the game of Baseball. He graduated from Bushwick High School in 1977 and attended Kingsborough Community College where he played baseball and was named an All American. With that success, he earned a Baseball scholarship to Wiley College in Marshall, TX. He ultimately graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Business and Behavioral Sciences from East Texas Baptist in 1983. He began a career in finance at the City University of New York’s University Application Processing Center (UAPC) while continuing his passion for baseball as a Youth Service League coach. He continued his career at LaGuardia Community College where he met his true love, Belinda Stephenson, who became his wife of 31 years. To this union was born one son, Gordon, who has been a source of great pride for Keith. Next to God only, Keith’s family was his number one priority. He was a leader in his home and to all extended family members, as well, Keith transitioned to the K-12 sector taking on progressively higher positions at the NYC Board of Education in District 17 before relocating to Cleveland, Ohio. He then assumed a role in Fiscal Management and Operations for the Cleveland Municipal School District. While in Cleveland, Keith also earned his Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Myers University helping to pave the way for even greater career achievements in Prince Georges County, Maryland where he rose to the position as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the School District serving 126,000 students. Mentoring aspiring career professionals was a great passion of Keith’s. He was frequently sought out for his strategic insights and business savvy. His career coaching spanned beyond education to diverse industries in STEM and even into politics. Keith was an advocate for others and was committed to empowering and encouraging people to advance in their careers. One of his main slogans was, “Be a Finisher” where he pushed others to develop intestinal fortitude and follow through on their goals firmly and decisively. He modeled this and expected it from others – both physically and mentally. Keith’s professional affiliations and memberships over the years include: Government Finance Officer’s Association; Council of Great City Schools – Quality Review Team; NorthEast Ohio United Methodist Council on Diversity; Maryland Association of School Business Officials; National Institute of Governmental Purchasing; and 100 Black Men of Cleveland. Among his most profound achievements is his role as baseball coach to hundreds of New York City Youth through the Youth Service League organization in Brooklyn, NY. An accomplished player himself, Keith gave back to this community and coached hundreds of youth baseball players including his son. Several players excelled in the sport with many playing at the college level and others reaching the pinnacle of the sports – the Major Leagues! Keith overcame many ailments in his later years finally being called to rest with God on February 9, 2021. He leaves to cherish his life and memory, his devoted wife, Dr. Belinda S. Miles, his loving son, Gordon; siblings Yolanda McNeill (FL) and Thurman McNeill Jr. (Kasheika) (CA); mother in-law, Tina Stephenson (NY); and stepmother WillieMae McNeill (NC); and a host of in-laws, uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. He is preceded in death by his mother, Mary Miles; father, Thurman McNeill Sr; sister, and Yvonne Inez Miles.
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