Lamar Quebec Keith, 97, of Grove, Oklahoma, passed away Sunday, January 17, 2021 after suffering complications following a surgery. Lamar was born in Verdon, OK to Grady and Beulah Keith. He had a sister, Polly Noble, and a brother, James Keith.
Serving for two turbulent years in the United States Army during World War II in the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion, Private First Class Lamar Keith was in one of the first battalions to land on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France on D-Day in 1944. Engaged in battle moving forward from England, France, all the way to Czechoslovakia, he built bridges and other infrastructure, destroyed obstacles, cleared land mines, and kept their battalion safe along the way. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and finally celebrated the German surrender on V-Day in 1945. Lamar was honorably discharged at Camp Fannin on November 5, 1945. Lamar served as Secretary and Coordinator for his military unit reunions, and coordinated trips to revisit the wartime path many years later. Even meeting with a man who fought on the opposite side of the war as him - humorously calling it a “quite a meeting of old mellow adversaries.”
After returning from war, Lamar met Louise Mullens through his sister, Polly who worked with Louise at a dress shop. He made quite an impression on her. Lamar married Louise Mullens in Oklahoma City on November 16, 1946. They were blessed to be married for 60 wonderful years until she passed away in 2006 from Alzheimer’s Disease. While Louise was battling Alzheimer’s Disease, Lamar stepped right up to learn and perform all of the domestic responsibilities that had been handled by Louise throughout their long life together. He was a wonderful caretaker to her during this tough time.
Lamar majored in Engineering and attended both the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University and was only several credits away from graduating when he had been offered a management position in Houston, Texas. Lamar worked for 29 years at Geolograph Field Services. He worked as a Manager in Houston for 10 of those years and at the headquarters in Oklahoma City for 19 years.
Lamar enjoyed coaching little league baseball and football, teaching his children and many nieces and nephews to water ski on camping trips to Lake Texhoma and raising funds for youth charities through his Optimist Club service group. He was an avid historian and story teller. He loved dancing and was active in square dancing in Oklahoma City. Lamar gained his pilots license in the early 1970s and enjoyed flying Cessna and Cherokee airplanes as a hobby. He even renewed the license in 2006 when he was in his 80s. After retirement, Lamar and Louise spent a couple of years living in Hawaii in a home Lamar built and then moved back to Oklahoma to spend their remaining retirement years building another home at Grand Lake closer to family and friends. They enjoyed their RV trips, traveling to Europe and making many lovely memories. Lamar even started snow skiing in the 1980s with his oldest grandson, Adam. He never turned down a chance to have a little fun and spend time with his family. He and Louise were active in the Grove community, delivering Meals on Wheels, cleaning roadsides near their home and helping at their church. Lamar was a member of First United Methodist Church of Grove, where he greatly appreciated the support of Pastor Randy Hamill and many friends. Lamar enjoyed singing and playing music throughout his life, but during the later years he frequently performed at the senior center in Grove.
After years of being a widower, he connected with the widow of a fellow combat engineer he had served alongside. They met at military reunions and enjoyed a friendship that grew into a shared love. Lamar married Glyn Shelby of Wills Point, Texas in June, 2008 and spent 9 wonderful years together. Lamar stated how blessed he was to have her in his life. She later passed away in 2018 and returned to Texas to be buried alongside her family.
Preceded in death by his parents Grady and Beulah Keith; sister, Polly Noble; brother, James Keith; wife of 60 years, Louise Keith; and wife of 9 years, Glyn Shelby Keith.
Lamar was survived by his children, Debra Dunn and husband, Larry, of Fort Collins, Colorado; Jim Keith and wife, Karen, of Monkey Island, Oklahoma; grandchildren Adam Hanks and wife, Mirela, of Fort Mill, South Carolina; Stephen Hanks and wife, Allison, of Loveland, Colorado; Dr. Brian Hanks and wife, Tricia Eastman, of Portland, Oregon; Jake Keith and wife Shannon of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Steven Dunn and wife, Kirsty, of Glasgow, Scotland; and great grandchildren Dylan Hanks, Oliver Hanks, and Avery Keith. He was loved by numerous nieces and nephews and their families as “Uncle Lonnie”
Lamar was a kind-hearted, hard-working man who lived a very full life with a lot of spunk and vigor. He was a wonderful father, grandfather, great grandfather, husband, brother, uncle and friend. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and everyone who knew him. Lamar will be laid to rest on January 29th at Fairview Cemetery in Tuttle, Oklahoma alongside his parents and first wife, Louise. The family will host a celebration of life at a later date when it is safer to do so. In lieu of flowers, we ask for donations to be made to Meals on Wheels in Grove, OK. Please make checks payable to Grove Meals on Wheels and mail to: P.O. Box 848, Miami, OK 74355.