Robert L. Keitt Jr.
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On Sunday, October 28, 2012,S/Master Sgt. Robert L. Keitt Jr. (Retired), boarded his last flight. Carried on the Wings of Angels Bob "slipped the surly bonds of earth" (John Magee) and went home to be with his Heavenly Father.
Bob was born October 15, 1931 in Four Holes Swamp, SC. His family later moved to Orangeburg, SC, where Bob resided until he enlisted in the US Air Force.
He was preceded in death by his father Robert L. Keitt Sr. and his mother Janie Mae Strock Keitt. He was also preceded in death by his sisters Dorothy Mount and Anne Mitchell and his brother Elwood Keitt.
Bob is survived by his loving wife, Gwen Golden Keitt, of the home. He is also survived by his two sons James R. Keitt (Debbie) of Pocomoke, Maryland, and Maurice H. Keitt (Tamara) of Cheyenne, Wyoming and his daughter Tammy Push (Garry) of Hannibal, Missouri. Bob was blessed with 7 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. Bob dearly loved all of his family.
Three sisters and one brother also survive. Leonard Keitt (Agnes) of Osteen, Florida. Frances Durr (Herman) of Blythewood, SC. Betty Cooper of Orangeburg, SC. and Janie Marie Houp (Everett) of North, SC. Paula Keitt sister-in-law of Orangeburg, SC also survives. Many nephews and nieces are left with many precious memories of their Uncle Bobby.
Bob proudly served his country as a member of the SC National Guard and the US Air Force. He represented his country in Japan, Vietnam, Libya, Saudi Arabia and many other foreign countries. Flying was one of Bob's great passions. At the 1979 Air Tattoo, he was awarded a trophy for the Best Flight Engineer, out of 25 countries represented at RAF Greenham Common, England. By the time Bob retired from the US Air Force, he had amassed 15,000 flying hours. He was also stationed at Shaw AFB, SC and Pope Air Force, NC. Bob earned many medals and accommodations while On active duty. January 1, 1981 he retired from the Air Force.
After retiring from the military, Bob accepted a position as a manger of a 900 acre tree farm in Missouri. He loved the work but hated the cold Missouri weather. Bob also worked as a Quality Control Inspector at Aero Corp. in Lake City, Florida. Later Bob accepted a position at Lockheed Martin in Greenville, SC. After 17 years of duty, Bob finally retired from the civilian sector.
After that retirement, Bob became even more active in his community. He strongly believed in the
. For several years he gave his help to this organization. One of the many things he is known for, was the selling of donuts on cold rainy days at Lockheed's gate. All proceeds going to "his babies." Bob was named as South Carolina's "Hero for Babies" for his work with the
During the month of October, Bob visited many Greenville County Schools to speak about the evils of drugs and alcohol. November would find him at the Veterans Home in Anderson, SC delivering treat bags. Later that month he would be at the Elks packing Thanksgiving Baskets for the needy. In December he would be hosting a luncheon and giving out presents from the Elks to Special Needs students. In April he would pack Easter Baskets with food for the needy. April would also find him at local high schools prior to Prom with the Elks' go-cart "SIDNE" demonstrating how alcohol can affect one's driving. In May, Bob would be back at the VA along with other Elks having a cook-out for the Veterans.
Bob served as an Elk officer in all but one position and served as chairman of several committees. He received many awards as an Elk officer and as the State Drug Awareness Chairman.
He always had a special spot in his heart for his wife's special needs students. He went on field trips, had cook outs, and provided community service projects for the students. He brought cake and ice cream for each birthday. The students affectionately called him "Mr. Bob".
Family, Elks, veterans, teens, children and all people were always important to Bob. He left a positive impression with everyone he met. In 2008, he was awarded The Tommy Land Humanitarian of the Year award for Greenville County. Robert L. Keitt truly was a Man of the People. He lived a life that one can only dream of.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Bob on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, at 2 PM at the Greenville Elks Lodge 858 on Pelham Road. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be made to the
or Greenville Elks Lodge 858 ENF (Educational Scholarships)
The Cannon Funeral Home of Fountain Inn is in charge of arrangements.
Cannon Funerals and Cremations
1150 N. Main Street Fountain Inn, SC 29644
Published in The Greenville News on Nov. 1, 2012