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Joseph J. Keith

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PITTSFORD -- Joseph J. Keith, 86, a Pittsford native and longtime resident, told his final story on Aug. 20, 2004.

Born April 26, 1918 in Pittsford, the son of Frank (Pop) and Agnes (Mulligan) Keith, Joe was one of seven children and the last to leave us.

He married Yvonne (Martin) Keith on Nov. 4, 1939. She predeceased him on Dec. 14, 2000.

Joe is survived by his daughter Maureen (Punky) LeClair of Sarasota, Fla. and Pittsford; his five sons, Martin (Tubby), Joseph Jr. (Mike), Jon and Daniel (Dan) all of Pittsford, and William (Bill) of West Newbury. He also leaves his beloved grandson and housemate Donald (DJ) Keith, 17 other cherished grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, many dear extended family members and countless friends.

Joe graduated from Pittsford High School and attended St. Michael’s College. His career included working for Bennington Garage, General Electric and Keith’s Service Station and Salvage Yard. The bulk of his career - more than 30 years - was spent as founder of Keith’s Trading Post, Keith’s Antique Shop, Keith’s II Sports and Keith’s Golf Shop.

Joe had a lifelong love of sports. As a young man he played baseball, basketball and football at Pittsford High School. He coached and was a dedicated fan (like his father Pop) to many youth programs in the Bennington, Rutland and Pittsford communities. Later in life, golf was his passion and he was a past member of the Proctor-Pittsford and Neshobe Golf Clubs.

Joe was always service-oriented and throughout the years he served on the Pittsford Sportsman’s Club, Bennington Catholic High School Board, Neshobe Golf Club Board of Directors, Otter Valley Booster Club, and numerous committees at St. Alphonsus Parish where he was a member.

He was the recipient of the MSJ Appreciation award, presented to him by Dave Cowens of the Boston Celtics in 1984. The Otter Valley Booster Club honors him with the “Joe Keith Scholarship Award,” given yearly to two senior athletes. He never wanted recognition for all his good deeds.

Joe’s greatest joy in life was his family. He also enjoyed the art of dealing antiques, especially his golf club and golf memorabilia collection. He was a generous man, always willing to help the less fortunate and the youth of the community.

Joe loved people and will long be remembered for his enduring positive attitude, humor and storytelling, and kind and generous heart.

There will be no calling hours.

A liturgy of Christian death and burial will be offered on Thursday, Aug. 26, at 11 a.m. at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Pittsford with a committal service to follow in the church cemetery. Following the committal service a celebration of Joe’s life will be held in St. Alphonsus Parish Hall to which everyone is welcome.

The family request memorial donations in Joe’s memory be made to MSJ Athletic Assn., 127 Convent Ave., Rutland, VT 05701 or Otter Valley Basketball Program (Boys and Girls) Attn: Jim Avery, Brandon, VT 05733 or Rutland Area Visiting Nurse Assoc. and Hospice, P.O. Box 787, Rutland, VT 05702-0787.

Arrangements are under the direction of Barnard Funeral Home in Pittsford.
Published in Bennington Banner on Aug. 24, 2004
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