Dennis Lee Keith

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Dennis Lee Keith, age 76, passed away on May 1, 2024, doing what brought him joy, roaming around his farm in his Kabota.

Dennis was born in Cedar County to parents Raymond and Geniveve Chambers Keith. He embraced responsibility from a young age, leaving school to work full-time on the family farm.

Besides working on the farm, he would take jobs building anything from fences to homes. Many men are a jack of all trades and master of none. You wouldnít say that about Dennis. He had a mechanical mind that could figure out how anything worked and fix it.

In 1973, he began a new chapter, working at Crane Plumbing in Nevada, where he met his soulmate, Carolyn. In July 1977, he took on the new roles of husband and father of two. By February of 1979 he was thrilled to add another daughter to the family. He always loved babies, and over the years this tribe of three has given him 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

While at Crane Plumbing, he wore many hats, eventually landing in the maintenance department. Retirement wasnít an easy choice. He had no aspirations of sitting on the porch in a rocking chair, but due to a Parkinsons diagnosis he left Crane in 2008 to work on his farm, fish with his brothers, and tinker.

He had several memorable fishing adventures with his brothers Fred and Ken and still loved a quick trip to Caplinger, especially if a grandson could go.

Dennis was always a man of few words, which made the words he did say worth stopping to listen to. He had a heart of gold and would gladly stop what he was doing to help, regardless of how well he knew you. In recent years he became the one who needed help as he navigated the challenges of Parkinsons, although he didnít think so. His patience never wavered even when he got himself in predicaments on the farm. Miraculously the outcomes tended to be something to later laugh about because the hand of God was always on him. Because he never quit trying to fix things, especially the things he damaged, and because he had a son fluent in tractor repair, he always had a piece of equipment to get back out on the next day.

Through it all his spirit remained unbroken. He faced each hurdle with quiet resolve, never yielding to self-pity, even as he was falling more than a weeble-wobble toy. His optimism and determination are a testament to his character.

Over the years Dennis has enjoyed taking care of his cows, working in the garden, hunting and fishing, taking trips, eating his weight in cookies and ice cream, and learning how to repair quilting machines.

Dennis leaves behind a legacy of love and laughter. His family is deeply blessed to have had him in their life and have many happy memories that they can carry in their hearts to keep him close. Dennis is survived by his wife, Carolyn; his daughters, Kristin (Brian) Wood and Karen (Mike Boultinghouse) Keith; his son, Justin (Angi) Johnson; 11 grandchildren: Kaitlyn Tossie, Hunter Harper, Justin Johnson, Haden Harper, Shaffer Johnson, Miley Boultinghouse, Kausha Cluck, Blake Cluck, Logan Wood, Conner Wood, and Brant Boultinghouse; and 10 great-grandchildren: Stella, Brody, Madilyn, Quincy, Hanlea, Millie, Lincoln, Olivia, Rhett, and Murphy; as well as 7 sisters-in-law and two brothers-in-law.

Dennisís passing, though unexpected, was symbolic of his life. He was doing his thing, his way, on his property until his last breath. Heís now reunited with loved ones whoíve gone before him. We know he was greeted by his brothers, Ken and Fred, and a brother-in-law, Butch, who gave him the scoop on the best fishing holes, and he is smiling ear to ear.