Keyes Smith, a lifetime resident of Chesterville, passed away suddenly at the Heart Institute in Ottawa on the morning of Nov. 24, 2014. He was 77.
Keyes was born in Brockville on July 10, 1937 to his parents, Albert and Luvia (nee Merkley). He went to Kemptville College and graduated with a degree in agriculture in 1958, and spent his entire life on the family farm, which was dairy for many years, and cash cropped in the recent years. Keyes was the fourth generation, started by his great-grandfather, Ward Smith. Keyes’ middle son, Barry, now runs the farm and Barry’s children will be the sixth generation on the family homestead. Keeping the farm in the family with tradition continuing as it always has been was extremely important to Keyes.
When he was not milking cattle, or cropping his fine lands, he enjoyed travelling. He took many great trips with his family and with his wife, Marlene, who shared his love of travel with him.
He enjoyed trips as much as he did meeting people and learning about their lives. He was a real “people person.” He also had a love of books, and reading that was never ending. In the winter, he enjoyed playing or watching hockey, and summers were passed for the last 19 years at the cottage with the family on Big Rideau Lake.
He was a very respected man of the community, and he will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him, and all the lives he touched, and made better, by just being a part of them.
Keyes is survived by his loving wife, Marlene (nee Kirkham) of 45 years, and his children, Darwin (Connie), Barry (Rhonda), both of Chesterville, and Tricia (Steve Nash) of Vancouver, B.C., and his sisters, Doris Barrie (Rodger) of Kitchener, and Carole Boncaroksy (Myron) of Fairfax, Va. He was blessed with four lovely grandchildren, Dylan, Rylin, Reid, and Shaelah. He is also survived by his nieces and nephews, and his very beloved Jack Russell of 14 years, Lacey.
A graveside funeral service was held at Maple Ridge Cemetery in Chesterville on Fri., Nov. 28 with Rev. Debbie Poirier officiating. Keyes’ life-long friend, Jim Moore, shared many kind words during his eulogy at the graveside.