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W. Keith Leonard

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W. Keith Leonard Obituary
W. Keith Leonard

Des Moines

William Keith Leonard, 78, of Des Moines died of natural causes on Sunday, June 30, 2013, surrounded by family and friends at Trinity Center in Des Moines, IA.

Keith was born to Fred and Fae Leonard on June 19, 1935 in Scottdale, PA. He graduated from Otterbein College, where he met and married his wife, Beverly, in 1957. He earned his masters degree from Ohio University and pursued his doctoral studies at the University of Iowa.

As a professor of theatre, Keith taught at Hiram College, Western Illinois Univerity, Southern Seminary, and St. Scholastica, and was Chairman of the Department of Theatre Arts and Speech Communication at Simpson College in Indianola.

Keith directed over thirty plays and translated and co-translated Latin American plays and poetry, including Vilalta's "Nothing Like the Sixteenth Floor" at Simpson College and Solorzano's "The Hands of God" at Hiram College (which was also produced by the New York Theater of the Americas). "The Adding Machine" at The Drama Workshop and "You Can't Take It with You" at Simpson College were among the local plays he directed.

Keith was an active member of Highland Park Christian Church. He served as Elder and Stephen's Minister, was a teacher, worked with youth, and wrote and directed plays. He was a Docent at the Des Moines Art Center and also volunteered with local homeless assistance and food programs. He enjoyed finding sociocultural boundaries and pushing them until they stretched into a new understanding.

Keith is preceded in death by his wife Beverly and his brother Gary of TX. He is survived by sons Christopher and Shawn (Stacie), and granddaughter Jackie, all of Des Moines; his sister Betty (Max), nephew Mark, and niece Michelle (Gary), all of OH; brother Jim (Pat) and niece Kate, of MA; sister-in-law Betty and nephew Dean (Jennifer), of TX; and dear friends Mary and Narm Reeves of Des Moines.

In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place and private services will be held. Memorial contributions may be sent to Highland Park Christian Church, located at 4260 NW 6th Drive in Des Moines.

Published in Des Moines Register on July 21, 2013
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