Daniel K. Keith
Wed, 10/18/2017 - 11:53am admin
Daniel Kelly Keith, age 70, of Lead, S.D., passed away Friday, October 6, 2017, at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Fort Meade, S.D.
Dan was born April 21, 1947, in Gregory, SD, son of Ferdinand S. and Joyce Ann (Christensen) Keith. Dan attended school in Gregory, graduating in 1965. Dan was a proud member of the Gregory Gorillas basketball team when they played in the South Dakota State A Basketball Tournament in 1963. In his youth, Dan stayed busy hunting the surrounding fields and hills of Gregory and fishing the Missouri River.
Thanks to his athletic background, he received scholarships to play football, basketball, and baseball for the Pointers at USD/Springfield where Dan majored in science and physical education. While in college, Dan met his future wife, Joyce Osnes of Burke, SD. They were married in 1969 and spent the next 48 years in a loving, adventure-filled marriage. With teaching certificates in hand, they began their careers in secondary education. Dan entered the military in 1970 where he proudly served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
Dan’s career as a science teacher and coach spanned 37 years with stints in Delmont, S.D., Wall, S.D., and Gillette, Wyo. Dan and Joyce spent 27 fulfilling years in Gillette, as educators in Campbell County School District. Dan retired in 2006, and in 2007, the couple relocated from Gillette to their Black Hills cabin near Lead, SD, where they have enjoyed their retirement years.
Dan always wanted a son to share his love of the outdoors. He was blessed with two: Kelly born in 1977 and Brit in 1983. He felt especially lucky when daughter-in-law, Lacey Gerving, joined the family. Kelly and Lacey’s three children (Michael, Kelsey, and Caden) were the icing on Grandpa Dan’s cake. Brit brought Kimberly Wenger into our family to make it even better and more complete.
Dan loved to fish, hunt, and spend time visiting Maitland Road neighbors in his duty as the unofficial, self-appointed Mayor of Maitland. Dan enjoyed several fishing trips to Canada and Alaska, and closer jaunts to two of his favorite fishing holes: Orman Dam and Shade Hill Reservoir. Hiking expeditions into Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains over the years were always adventurous. South Dakota, Wyoming, and North Dakota also provided numerous opportunities for successful hunting trips for Dan.
Dan will be deeply missed by his wife, Joyce of Lead; son, Kelly and Lacey Keith and grandchildren, Michael, Kelsey, and Caden of Lead; son, Brit Keith and Kim Wenger of Sheridan, Wyo.; sister-in-law, Gladys Keith of Eagle River, Alaska; brother-in-law, Doug and Julie Osnes of Pierre; sister-in-law, Janet and Steve Legersky of Redstone, Colo.; niece, Patty and Jeff Rusher of California, Md.; niece, Caroline and Doug Downs of Fairbanks, Alaska; nephew, Greg and Jaymee Keith and sons of Eagle River; niece, Amber and Travis Antholz and daughters, Lincoln, Neb.; nephew, Drew Osnes, Pierre; special cousin, Sara Webster of Edmond, Okla.; special uncle, Frank Kucera of Lead; several cousins; and numerous friends all of whom enjoyed Dan’s surly but loving personality.
Dan was preceded in death by his sister, Marque Keith; parents, Joyce and Ferd Keith; his sister, Lura Mae Vernon; and his brother, Dean Keith.
Memorial service and burial was held at Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, S.D., on Friday, October 13, 2017.
Memorials in Dan’s name can be made to organizations of the donor’s choice.