COLUMBUS, Ohio—James Lowell Keaton, 67, a long-time member of the LD Management/Lion’s Den family, died Monday, July 16, inColumbus,Ohio.
Keaton, who retired in January 2011 after 36 years with the company, was born May 27, 1945, in Middletown, Ohio, the song of Roger and Wilma (Howe) Keaton. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran and enjoyed collecting Coca-cola memorabilia. He also was an organ donor.
He is survived by Jack Ryan, his life partner of 35 years; his brother John and his wife Anita; nieces and nephews; and close friends, including Michael Moran and his wife, head of Lion’s Den.
Keaton served several roles within the Lion’s Den organization during his time there, including opening more than 20 of the original stores throughout Columbus and surrounding areas.
“He was working at the original Lion’s Den store the first time I met him,” Ryan, who has worked at Lion’s Den for 35 years, told AVN. “I saw him that first time and we were inseparable after that.”
The duo lived together, worked together and pursued outside interests together for more than three decades.
“It just worked,” he added. “Jim was very outgoing, and I was shy, but he brought me out of my shell.”
Ryan said Keaton’s health started to decline a few months after his retirement; he was hospitalized 14 times since January before he was transferred to Kobacker House in Columbus, a hospice facility.
“He had a lot of friends he made in the industry throughout the year, and he has stayed close with so many of them,” Ryan said.
“He was smart, hard working and a wonderful and dear friend,” said Susan Colvin, founder and president of CalExotics. “I will miss him terribly.”
Scott Taylor, owner of New Sensations and Digital Sin, first met Keaton more than 25 years ago when he was a salesman for an adult company and went to visit theOlentangy Roadstore.
“He didn’t know me except my voice and my name,” Taylor said. “I was a musician then and had this long blond, blown-out hair.” But Keaton treated him as a friend from the start, Taylor said, and today he thinks of Keaton, Ryan and Lion’s Den employees a part of his family.
“He was genuinely a nice person,” Taylor said. “He cared about his company, he cared about his friends. We wouldn’t get to see each other all that often, but that didn’t change how I thought of him.”
Keaton will be cremated, according to his wishes, and a service for family and friends to celebrate his life will be scheduled in the near future, Ryan said. Details will be published on AVN.com as they become available.
The family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Kobacker House. Online condolences may be made at the Schoedinger Funeral & Cremation Service website.