Keith Otto Morris, age 75, of Leitchfield, Kentucky, formerly of Michigan City, Indiana, passed away on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021.
He was born on Sept. 30, 1946, in Hudson, Michigan, to Cecil A. and Wanda E. Morris, who both preceded him in death. On Nov. 28, 1970, Keith married the love of his life, Diane Crakes, at St. Mary's Church in Michigan City.
Keith is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Diane; as well as his children, Jaime (Shane) Matthews of Greenwood, Indiana, and Jeremy (Michelle Gregory) Morris of Indianapolis, Indiana; grandchildren, Kailyn Morris, Kennedy Matthews and Harper Matthews; sisters, Carolyn Parsons and Sharon Hatfield; and sisters-in-law, Christine (Ed) Bowmar and Lena Crakes.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Clark (Kathy) Morris and Byron "Bud" (Lorraine) Morris; and brother-in-law, John Crakes.
Keith graduated from Elston High School in 1966. He was drafted and served in the U.S. Army as an Airborne Ranger from December 1967 to July 1969. He was deployed to Vietnam from July 1968 to July 1969, where he served in F Company Long Range Patrol (LRP), 51st Infantry Rangers and D Company LRP, 151st Infantry Rangers.
The U.S. Army recognized Specialist (SP 4), aka "Lurch," for his honorable service with a Purple Heart. He was recommended for the Bronze Star Medal, with "V" device, for Valor in Combat, for circumstances surrounding an engagement west of Cu Chi, Republic of Vietnam, on Oct. 14, 1968, a day he recently referred to as "the worst-best of his service."
Keith worked 34½ years and retired from Bethlehem Steel Corporation at the Burns Harbor Plant, where he was mostly a crane operator and scarfer, aka "slab yard animal." After retirement, Keith drove a semi-truck for several years.
Keith enjoyed so many incredible boating and waterskiing vacations with his family and friends, including countless trips to Bear Lake, Michigan; Douglas Lake, Tennessee; Norfork Lake, Arkansas; Devils Lake, Michigan; Table Rock Lake, Missouri; Dale Hollow Lake, Kentucky/Tennessee; and Laurel River Lake, Kentucky.
These vacations do not include the "every chance we get" day for excursions and adventures on Lake Michigan, Pine Lake and Rough River Lake, where he and Diane ultimately retired. He cherished teaching anybody and everybody to ski "the old school way."
During his life, Keith and his bigger-than-life personality especially enjoyed his family and friends, playing cards, horse racing, Purdue Boilermaker football and basketball, and he relished being an avid purveyor of random trivial knowledge, specifically regarding animals due to his many hours of viewing and interest in Animal Planet.
In recent years, he battled with several health issues, and in his usual way, he took everything that life threw at him as a battle to conquer.
Keith was loved and admired by countless nieces, nephews, great-nieces and -nephews, family and friends, and fellow brothers-in-arms, and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Friends may visit with the family on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Geisen-Carlisle Funeral Home, located at 613 Washington St., Michigan City, Indiana, 46360, and on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, from 9 to 10 a.m. Funeral Service begins at 10 a.m. on Thursday at Geisen-Carlisle Funeral Home. Burial with Military Honors will follow at Swan Lake Memorial Gardens in Michigan City, Indiana.