1934 – 2010
Art was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, teacher, builder, mentor, coach and friend. Art Keith died suddenly at his home on May 17, 2010. His life runneth over. He lived in many places and was good at many things, but he never boasted. He was an encourager and a good neighbor known for his energy and compassion.
Art was valedictorian of Canby High School, class of 1952, and three-time Oregon State High School Wrestling Champion, making the Olympic Trials his senior year. He earned his Bachelors and Masters Degrees, at Oregon State University, and was a three-time champion of the Pacific Coast Conference. After nine years of teaching high school and coaching, Art moved to Eugene to earn a Doctorate Degree in Education at the University of Oregon. There, he coached the Ducks’ wrestling team, from 1965 -1970, and wrote the first of his four wrestling books. He earned the rank of Captain in the United States Army Reserve.
In 1970, Art moved his family to Ellensburg, WA, where he taught teacher education as a professor for Central Washington University. Art returned to high school teaching and coaching in Spokane, in 1980, completing his teaching career at Central Valley and Ferris High Schools.
Art and Fern moved to Fairmont Hot Springs, where they have lived for the past eighteen years. Art began his second career as a builder, because he didn’t know how to retire. In 1997, Art was awarded a Lifetime Service Award for coaching and inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Throughout his lifetime, Art actively engaged in developing international relationships and uniting people in his church and his community. He was competitive, determined, confident, patient and tender hearted. He created an atmosphere that inspired everyone he met. Art had a magnificent time on earth.
Art is survived by: his loving wife of 54 years Fern Keith; his children: Dee Ann Gregg (Philip), Marla Lucas (Dave), Craig Keith (Lesa); grandchildren: Katherine, Christopher, Michael, Stephen, Helen; and sisters: Esther Boyd, Grace Daniels.
A memorial service was held at Christ Church Trinity, Invermere on May 22, 2010. Memorial donations in honor of Art may be made to the: Columbia Valley Community Foundation, P.O. Box 991, Invermere, B.C., V0A 1K0.
Arrangements entrusted to McPherson Funeral Service. Condolences for the family can be offered at: www.mcphersonfh.com