In loving memory of John Keith: 1938-2022


John William Keith was born in Miami, Oklahoma on Aug. 10, 1938, the sixth of eight children born to Charles and Sarah Keith.

At the age of 17, following in the footsteps of his brother Tom, John enlisted with the U.S. Coast Guard. He was trained and deployed as a sonar technician, eventually teaching submarine warfare tactics in Pensacola, Florida. After completing his initial enlistment period, John decided to make the Coast Guard his career and entered the Officer’s Candidate School in Yorktown, Virginia. He received his officer’s commission and began a career that took him across the U.S. and all around the world. John served as captain of the Port of Seattle, then in USCG Intelligence as his final posting. He retired as a full commander in 1978. John was proud of his service and shared many humorous and interesting stories about his seafaring adventures with his children and grandchildren.

After his USCG retirement, John kept busy with different work and home projects. He entertained retirement home residents with his guitar, traveled extensively in the western U.S., and camped in the Pacific Northwest. “Windy” John (his childhood nickname) was always ready with a story, joke, or anecdote to share. He had a quirky sense of humor that will be missed at family gatherings.

John was first married in 1958 and had three children: John, Kevin and Susan. In 1977, John married Vickie Noll. They shared 45 years together until his passing in 2022.

John was preceded in death by his father Charles Keith and his mother Sarah Keith; his brothers Charles, Harry and Thomas; and his sisters Charlene, Margaret, Janet and Evelyn.

John is survived by his wife Vickie Keith; sons John Keith (Elise) and Kevin Keith (Marcy); daughter Susan Keith (John); grandchildren Ian Keith, Shannon Marsoun, Britta Whittington and Margaret Keith; great-grandchildren Marvel, Asher and Owen, and numerous friends.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Oct. 8, 2022 at Layne’s Funeral Home in Battle Ground, Washington.