McKennon, Keith R.
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79, passed away on Saturday, September 14, 2013 surrounded by his family at Mayo Hospital in Scottsdale, AZ. Keith was born in Condon, OR to Lois and Russell McKennon. Along with his brother Larry, the family lived on several cattle ranches and farms in Oregon and northern California. Keith graduated from Oregon State University with a B.S. in agricultural chemistry. He went to work for The Dow Chemical Co. in 1955 where he met and later married the love of his life, Patricia D McKennon. Keith's career at Dow spanned 50 years, and he served in many executive positions, including as President of Dow USA and Executive Vice President for Technology. He then served as Chairman and CEO of Dow Corning Corp. Keith had a great ability to solve problems and navigated several crises including the Agent Orange and breast implant controversies. After Dow Corning, Keith served as Chairman and CEO of PacifiCorp, Vice-Chairman of Scottish Power PLC, Deputy Chairman of Scottish Power Ltd., and Chair of the National Legal Center for the Public Interest. He served on many corporate boards, including Dow Chemical Company, Dow Corning Corporation, PacifiCorp, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGEN), Marion Merrell Dow Inc., Chemical Financial Corporation, and Tektronix Inc. Keith was an exceptional leader sought after for his intelligence, integrity, and common sense. In 1994, he was honored with the Chemical Industry Society's Chemical Industry Medal. Keith was also active in numerous philanthropic efforts, most notably serving as a member of the President's Board of Advisors at Oregon State University and the Mayo Clinic Leadership Council. Keith received a number of awards, including the Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow Award, the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award, and the Mayo Clinic Lifetime Achievement Award. In spite of all these professional achievements, Keith was happiest in the company of his family or fly fishing with friends in remote parts of the world. Keith was survived by his wife Patricia and his three sons Brian, Marc, and Kevin. He was a great friend and mentor to many and will be deeply missed. The family is planning to hold a Celebration of Life ceremony, details to be announced.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Sept. 21, 2013