NELSON, Keith W.
Oct. 8, 1936 – Feb. 14, 2021
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved daddy, grandpa,
brother, uncle, friend, and sponsor, Keith W. Nelson.
Keith was born in Dayton, Ohio, to the late William
Nelson and Evelyn (Sinks)
Nelson. Keith graduated from Patterson Co-Op High School in 1954. Eager to see the world, he immediately enlisted in the Navy. He shipped out to the
Pacific where he was deployed to Japan and was part of the US security presence at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 on the U.S.S. Bremerton.
After the Navy, he returned to Ohio and attended the Ohio State University in Columbus where he embraced his lifelong calling as a philosopher poet, which ultimately did not lead to graduation or a degree. Keith was married to Leda Serey for 16 years. They traveled back and forth across the country,
living in California, and eventually settling in Connecticut. They had two daughters.
A defining moment for Keith came in 1976 when he embraced sobriety. For the next 45 years, Alcoholics Anonymous was central to his life as both a member and a sponsor. Throughout these years, he sponsored and helped hundreds of people in their struggles with alcoholism and addiction. Keith spent his professional life as a theatrical promoter. Keith eventually settled in Cleveland.
Keith was a big man, with flowing hair. He wore berets, bright shirts, and self-made beaded necklaces around his neck. He had a deep, booming voice. He was prone to pontificate on anything and everything. Keith was well read, very intelligent, and could discuss many topics with fluency. He made an impression on everyone he met. He had a joyous and curious spirit that never stopped exploring. Keith was a great
romantic, a consummate charmer and an unabashed flirt. It is fitting that Keith passed on Valentine's Day.
Keith is survived by his darling daughters Lisa Finnegan of Armagh, Northern Ireland and Kirsten Cunha of New York, New York; his grandson Theodore (Teddy) Cunha; his brother and sister-in-law William and Donna Nelson; his sons-in-law, James Finnegan and Mark Cunha; and his nieces Tricha Coy, Angie Smith, and Sandy Manson. He is predeceased by his brother Wallace Nelson.
Keith was larger than life and his passing leaves a large void in the hearts of those who knew him. He once said that he fell in love many times a day. If life is measured in love, Keith had a great life. We will miss him dearly.
Published by Dayton Daily News on Feb. 17, 2021.