Dr. Robert Eugene Keith, formerly of Pawhuska, died on July 4 in Austin, Texas, where he lived for 36 years.
“Bobby” was the son of J.W. and Adaline Wheeler Keith who lived for decades at 421 E. 12th Street. He was born in 1928 at 208 E. 12th. His father was a member of First Presbyterian Church and managed the Osage Federal Savings and Loan for 37 years. His mother was city treasurer of Pawhuska for nearly 63 years.
Dr. Keith graduated from Gulf Coast Military Academy in Gulfport, Miss., in 1945, and from the University of Michigan in 1954, where he earned a Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering. He had congressional appointments to Annapolis and West Point but chose Michigan because he wanted to watch Tom Harmon play football. He also played cornet in the UofM Marching Band.
During summers in high school, he worked at the old Skelly Oil Company lab, and later became a research engineer at the General Electric Research Laboratory in Schenectady, N.Y., and Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, and an Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering at Penn State.
He was married to Virginia Marie Mulkey (who preceded him in death) of Detroit, Mich., for 53 years, and was a longtime choir member at Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church in Austin.
Survivors include two sons, Duane Keith and Paul Keith, both of Austin, and three grandchildren.
Burial was held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 22, in the Keith plot near the mausoleum at Pawhuska Cemetery, where he joined his wife, parents, sister and grandfather.