Cover photo for William Haynes Keith's Obituary
William Haynes Keith Profile Photo

William Haynes Keith

December 22, 1940 — September 18, 2023


William Haynes Keith

William Haynes (Bill) Keith died on September 18, 2023, following a lengthy illness.

A resident of Williamson County since 1977, he was born in Knoxville December 22, 1940, and was the son of the late Gilmer and Mary Ellen Keith. He was a graduate of Fulton High School and the University of Tennessee with a degree in transportation in the College of Business Administration. He was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Mr. Keith is survived by his wife of sixty years, Janet, two sons and their wives, Michael and Michelle of Franklin and Bo and Ginger of Brentwood, and four grandchildren – Abby Keith of Franklin, Matthew Keith of Los Angeles and Will and Ty Keith of Brentwood. He is also survived by his sister, Ellen Keith of Knoxville and was predeceased by a grandson, Cameron James Keith of Brentwood.

For over sixty years, he was a businessman in the field of transportation. In 1994, he established FirstExpress, Inc. with headquarters in Nashville and was currently Chairman of the company.

He has attended St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Franklin for the past 25 years. 

He was a member of the Masonic Order of East Ridge, Tennessee, The Scottish Rite Bodies of Nashville and a Shriner at Al Menah Temple, Nashville.
A loyal and devoted alumnus of  the University of Tennessee, he established “The First Express Room” in the Haslam Business Building. Also, an avid sports fan, he rarely missed a Tennessee football game and, along with his wife, sister and 80-year-old mother loved tailgating and the pageantry and color of a gameday on “The Hill”. Upon pro football’s arrival in Nashville, he immediately became a PSL holder and fan of the Titans, loved the boys in blue and, in recent years, enjoyed sporting the most current Titans’ ball caps!

The family will receive friends from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM on Thursday, September 21, 2023 at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home.
A private Masonic Burial will be held at Williamson Memorial Gardens. Pallbearers will be grandsons, Matthew and Will Keith and cousins, Edd Baldock of Kingsport, David Baldock of Spanish Fort, Alabama, and Dr. Doug Leahy, Bill Baldock, David Cochran and David Keith all of Knoxville. Honorary Pall Bearers will be employees of FirstExpress.

The kindness of a donation may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children, PO Box 1510, Ranson, WV 25438-4510. Battle Ground Academy, 336 Ernest Rice Lane, Franklin, TN 37069 or Alive Hospice, 1718 Patterson St. Nashville, TN 37203-2926 in loving memory of William Haynes Keith. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Haynes Keith, please visit our flower store.
In memory of William Haynes Keith, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:

Past Services


Thursday, September 21, 2023

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Williamson Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service

3009 Columbia Avenue, Franklin, TN 37064

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