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William "Bill" R. Keith

April 7, 1923 ~ May 24, 2021 (age 98)

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William “Bill” Keith, 98, of Rock Island, passed away Monday May 24, 2021 at UnityPoint-Trinity, Rock Island.  

No services are planned at this time; a memorial service will be held at a later date. Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, Rock Island, is assisting with arrangements. 

Bill was born April 7, 1923 in West Liberty, Iowa, one of nine children born to William F. and Velva Dunlap Keith. He was raised by his aunt and uncle, Henry and Marcella Wichelman on a farm in rural Davenport. He graduated from Davenport High School in 1941. 

Upon graduating high school, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Navy and honorably served on the USS Iowa during World War II. Following his military service, he married Donna L. Esterbrook in 1946. She preceded him in death on February 25, 1998. 

 Bill purchased Tri-City Publishing Co. in 1955, and served as editor of Tri-City Labor Review until his retirement. In 1991. 

  He was an avid golfer, shooting his age into his 90’s, championship bridge player, bowler, boater, water skier and snow skier. He was known for being a prankster, often accompanied by his distinctly recognizable laugh. He found joy in everything he did and brought joy to everyone he touched.

Surviving are his daughter, Vicky Keith, and her wife Madeliene Abling, Fort Lauderdale, FL; son, William Keith, Jr. and his life partner, Dorothy Gehlken, Andalusia; grandson and granddaughter-in-law, Eric and Tara Keith, Andalusia; sisters, Lucille Nealson, West Liberty, IA, Bonnie King and her husband Fred, Pharr Texas, and Barbara DeGood, Iowa City; and numerous nieces, nephews, and their families. 

  Bill was preceded in death by his parents; wife; and five siblings. 


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