Howard Wallace Keir|
How do you describe the life of a man that exemplified God's love on earth? A loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend, Howard accepted people for who they were, non-judgmentally, and he loved from his core, with his whole heart. He treated everyone with respect, kindness and generosity. He was able to face the real and difficult parts of life head on, with grace and forgiveness, and he was just as expert at finding beauty and joy in every aspect of life. He was fun to be around, warm, down to earth and had a gift for making people feel special.
Howard Wallace Keir born on July 30, 1927, passed away on Sunday morning, the 21st of April 2013. A third generation Houstonian, Howard was the son of Howard Leroy Keir and Mary Marguerete Wallace. He was a deacon at First Baptist Church of Bellaire and served on numerous committees.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife Terri. Beloved survivors include daughters Nanette Smith and husband, Kirk; Dr. Jennifer Keir-Garza and husband Richard; Brenda Peters and husband, Jim; also by grandchildren Melissa Clark and husband, Michael, Portia Smith, Gabrielle Garza, Alexander Garza, Miguel Garza, Keirnan Peters and Jordyn Peters; and great-grandchild Cameron Clark and his brother Harry O. Keir and wife, Cynthia.
We would like to give this tribute in recognition of what he means to us. He didn't like long eulogies of praise and would be the first to admit to human weakness.
On February 12th of 1954 he married Terri (Mary Ellon) Walker. Together for more than 59 years, they experienced the changing scenes of life in the joyous and fruitful companionship, which the Lord had entrusted to them. There was an obvious chemistry between Gram and Papa, their understanding of each other was visceral and instinctive. His unwavering love to his wife remains an inspiration to us all.
To his grandchildren he was called "Papa" for many years. He enjoyed being Papa and was excited about each new arrival.
What many people may not have known was his generosity, as he frequently gave money, time and effort to family members, friends and strangers. What we didn't know and only found out in roundabout 'ways, was how often he helped others in need. He wanted to share the bounty he felt God had given to him.
There is no doubt about it - Papa was frugal. We all joked about how he always knew where to find the best bargains. He never threw anything away - all items had some sort of usefulness some day down the line. To all of us he was Mr. Fix-it. Your car is not running well? Take it to Papa. You need a tool? Ask Papa - he had several of each kind to offer. Your pots and pans have lost their handles? Let Papa put on a wooden one.
When he did something it was done right and he taught us to do the same. Papa wanted us to get satisfaction from and take pride in a job well done. His patience in completing a task is a legend among us, and in this way he taught us patience. Howard met any and all adversities with a positive attitude and remarkable work ethic.
He knew no strangers. He would strike up a conversation with anyone. He had a good memory and could tell stories of things that happened yesterday or 75 years ago.
He served 3 years in the U.S. Navy on the USS Stockdale, USS Price and USS LSM 104. He also attended Radar School and Ground Control Approach (GCA) School while enlisted. As a third generation Printer, Howard aided his father and grandfather in their printing businesses and also owned and managed Christian Printing and Keir's Printing.
A Father's legacy is not riches, possessions, or worldly goods of any kind; it is the way he lived, the lives he touched, the promises he kept. It is the kind of man he was and his family is proud of the heritage he gave us. Our lives have been blessed by the life that he led and the man that he was.
Yes, we grieve, but with a joyous hope. We ask that you, too, rejoice with us as we celebrate the culmination and crowning achievement of his life - Papa's Homegoing.
The Keir family wishes to thank the people that have assisted him in providing excellent care these last years. A funeral service is to be conducted at ten o'clock in the morning on Monday, the 29th of April, at Crosspoint Church, 4601 Bellaire Blvd., Bellaire, TX. The interment is to follow at Houston National Cemetery rendering military honors. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.claytonfuneralhomes.com.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Apr. 28, 2013