This was read at Keith’s funeral service on November 21st, 2009 by his youngest brother Norman Smith.
Beloved Son, Brother, Father, Grandfather, Uncle, Cousin & Friend, Keith Lot Smith Jr., age 60, died November 16, 2009 in Seattle,Washington with family by his bedside. Keith was born January 17, 1949 to Keith & Jean Smith of Seattle,Washington. He was the second oldest of 5 children.
Keith was a kind and generous brother to his siblings growing up, often putting their needs before his own. This kind and generous heart Keith kept through out his life, even in adversity he seemed to stay positive. Keith always took the time to talk with others, give a big hug and share a good laugh.
Keith was also a helpful Son to his parents and as a youth he learned the plumbing trade alongside his father. Keith always had a strong work ethic and was someone that could truly be depended on. Keith was a tremendous help to his parents also as they got older.
Keith graduated from Shorecrest High School in Seattle in 1968. He excelled in mathematics and was an avid reader. Keith learned things easily and loved to work with his hands. He loved his 1956 chevy convertible which he restored. He also restored an old bread truck into what was known as, “Keith’s Magic Bus”- the infamous Woodstock Van. I’m sure many of you can recall many “fond” memories from this period in Keith’s life.
Keith went on to serve his country in the US Army’s 1st Calvary Division, 7th calvary regiment in Vietnam from 1969-1971 where he earned a purple heart*. When he left the service in 1971 he moved to Anchorage, joined the plumbers union in Juneau and worked on the North Slope. He moved to Fairbanks in 1974. Keith loved the Fairbanks area and ended up making it his home.
In 1981 Keith’s life was blessed with a beautiful daughter, Melissa Nicole. Keith couldn’t have been happier! In 1984 he was blessed again with another beautiful daughter, Amanda Marie. Keith was a very proud father! Later, Keith also gained a son in Jared Jenkins when his daughter Melissa married in 2002. Then along came the crown jewels in Keith’s life - his two adorable grandchildren, Brooke Lynn & Jaycen Hawke. There was no greater joy to Keith than his family!
Keith earned a living working as a journeyman plumber most of his life and started his own business in Fairbanks that eventually became known as ASAP, Arctic Service and Plumbing. He enjoyed working with all his customers and employees. Keith loved working, playing and serving. He always loved his brothers and sister in the gospel and serving the Lord in his various callings at church too.
He was a great outdoorsman, an avid fisherman, hunter and gardener. When Keith became ill, he had to leave Fairbanks to seek medical treatment at the VA clinic in Seattle Washington. Despite his medical condition it did not deter him from coming ‘home’ toAlaska often, to fish with friends & family.
Keith began to really enjoy an online game, called Lineage 2, where he was known for his strong character called Keta. Through the game he was able to get to know many people from all over the world, which he befriended and inspired by his generosity, determination and positive attitude in any situation.
We knew that Keith was not himself when he couldn’t find the strength to go fishing the summer of 2009 in Alaska. Keith loved to fish so much, we knew he wouldn’t have missed it otherwise.
Keith, we will miss your presence on so many different levels. Thank you for being a part of all of our lives and touching us with your kind and generous big heart. May you now rest in God’s care, pain free and surrounded by His love and glory. God Bless!
*Keith wasn’t officially awarded a purple heart, but his family felt it should be mentioned that he did since we all know he deserved one.