Richard Keith Howe, 91, of Russell, Kansas, passed away Saturday, December 19, 2020 at the Homestead Assistant Living Facility of Russell.
Keith was born on December 22, 1928 to Aaron R. Howe and Ann (Walley) Howe in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. He was an only child. He grew up and attended school in Kingfisher until his family moved to Wichita during his 8th grade summer. Keith graduated from North High School in Wichita, Kansas with the class of 1946.
He attended Oklahoma A & M now Oklahoma State where he played baseball. While there he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. While playing baseball for Oklahoma A & M, two baseball scouts for the Dodgers and the Toronto Blue Jays came to his parents house to talk about the possibility of Keith attending their tryout camps and seeing if he would be a good fit for their team. Since he had not served his four years in the armed forces and would be drafted, he gave up his baseball dream and enlisted in the US Air Force where he served from July 7, 1953 to July 6, 1957. While in the Air Force he married Dolores L Burton on February 14, 1955 at the Palm Beach Air Force chapel in West Palm Beach, Florida.
From this union they were blessed with two daughters, Cynthia and Melanie.
After the Air Force, Keith’s jobs with Martin Marietta and then Hughes Tool Company took the family to California, Washington State, New Mexico and Colorado. In 1965 the family moved to Wichita where Keith began working for Xerox Corporation as a senior customer service engineer where he retired in 1991 after 26 years. After retiring, Keith and Dee moved to Russell, Ks to be near their daughters.
Keith loved baseball and was an avid Chicago Cubs fan his entire life. He also cheered on all Oklahoma State sports teams. If he couldn’t find a game on TV then he would try to find it on the computer. Keith loved to fish and to play a round of golf. He was always happy and liked to joke with people. He had a great memory and didn’t forget a name. At his assisted living facility was always ready to play a game of cards. He also enjoyed Bingo and word search puzzles. He was a member of St. John Lutheran Church and a 26 year member of the Russell American Legion Post #99. Most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family.
Keith is survived by two daughters: Cindy Smith (Harry) of Hot Springs Village, AR and Melanie Hamel (Mark) of Russell, KS; five grandchildren: Ashley Simmons (Troy) of Goddard, KS; Chris Winkler (Aubrae) of Inola, OK; Karie Florian, of Hot Springs Village, AR. Drew Hamel (Erika) of Russell, KS; Taylor Williams (Nicolas) of Russell, KS; 11 great grandchildren: Andrew Florian of Hot Springs Village, AR; Alexa (Triton) Cole of Hays, KS; Olivia, Sophia and Boston Winkler of Inola, OK; Hunter and Brooke Simmons of Goddard, KS; Grace, Gemma and Joseph Hamel of Russell, KS and Emersyn Williams, Russell, KS; and 3 great-great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Dolores.
A private family service will be held on Friday, January 8, 2021 at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary. Cremation has taken place. A private burial of ashes will follow at a later date. Visitation will be held from 9:00 AM to Noon on Friday, January 8, 2020 at the mortuary. A Memorial has been established with St. John Lutheran Church. Contributions and condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of these arrangements.