BRANDON, Keith Born October 17th, 1931 to Charles and Helen Brandon of Castleford, Idaho, Keith Brandon was the only true redhead for miles. Living up to his carrot-topped reputation, Keith's childhood was full of many escapades that began with his siblings, Roy and Charlene, and frequently ended with his parents and aunts in hot pursuit. Blessed with a large extended family that convened for birthdays, holidays and Sunday dinners, there are many stories of camping trips, family fish fries, and yes, the skinny-dipping incident at the public pool and subsequent tour of the local jail. After high school, Keith attended the College of Idaho in Caldwell where he met many life-long friends as well as his future wife, Elizabeth, (Betty). He graduated with a degree in Anthropology set out for California to start his career. Shortly after his arrival, and toward the end of the Korean War, he was drafted into the Army. It was here that he received training and discovered a hidden talent for administration and logistics. This experience that would define his future profession. He was gifted in finance, management, and general herding, which ended up serving him well given his role as the token male in a house of full of women. Keith honed his administrative skills at the University of California, Los Angeles, CA and then at Washington State University in Pullman, WA. He is well-remembered for his strong work ethic, creative problem-solving ability, and generous spirit. Keith was a great student of geology and history and loved to share his knowledge with family, friends, and anyone else who happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. Family vacations provided ample occasions for lengthy lectures on rocks, land contours, and other assorted geographic and historic topics, all of which went a long way toward curing his daughters' occasional insomnia. Possessed of an adventuresome spirit, when opportunities to travel came his way, he leaped at the chance. His family's fondest memories are of a two-year stint in Lesotho. While there, he successfully wrestled the financial and administrative challenges of the USDA/ARS project, and still had time to broaden his geological and historical skills. This included abundant and detailed parking lot tours when lost, and culminated in the accidental after-hours "lock-in" at a game park due to the unassailable need for one more picture of a rhinoceros. When not at work, Keith could be found in his garden working to grow the perfect rose, or preparing the flowerbeds for the next big horticultural project. A philosopher in these moments, he also utilized this time to hold court with his daughters who brought to him their frustrations; and shortly thereafter, left with abundant fatherly advice and solutions for world peace. Keith was a gifted musician and classically trained lyric tenor performing throughout his life as both a soloist, as well as a member of many different choral groups. Together, he and Betty raised their family in the musical tradition, though it should be noted that the early Sunday morning warm-ups before church choir rehearsal were somewhat dubiously received. Keith and Betty were married for fifty-one years of their sixty-one year relationship. The kids would like to point out that though they did take their sweet time tying the knot, it did, finally, lead to the birth of their daughters Cynthia (spouse Jeff), and Barbara. We bid this amazing and wonderful man adieu by celebrating his life at 1:30pm on May 17th 2014, at Rockwood Retirement Community South Hill in Spokane, WA. Donations may be sent to College of Idaho, or the Idaho Youth Ranch.
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Published in Spokesman-Review on May 11, 2014