Skip to content

Obit – Mr. Fred Keith

Smith County Veteran’s Service Officer since May of 2015, Mr. Fred Keith, age 73 of the Defeated Creek Community, died following a battle with lung cancer at 6:04 p.m. Sunday evening September 20, 2020 at the age of 73 at the Sumner Regional Medical Center in Gallatin where he was admitted September 18th.

Funeral services for Mr. Keith were conducted Thursday afternoon September 24th at 1 p.m. from the Carthage Chapel of Sanderson Funeral Home. Eld. Michael Nesbitt and Mr. Keith’s pastor Bro. Donnie Payne officiated and burial with full military honors followed in the Garden of The Cross at the Defeated Creek Memorial Gardens.

Born Frederick Stephen Keith in Thorntown in Sugar Creek Township in Boone County, Indiana on October 9, 1946, he was one of four children of the late Joseph Keith who died April 7, 1991 at the age of 80 and Helen Dee Kinslow Keith who died March 16, 2001 at the age of 84.

Mr. Keith was preceded in death by a sister, Leslie Kay Keith Dukes who died at the age of 59 on May 19, 2011 and by his only brother, Charles Keith who died at the age of 79 on January 13, 2018.

In Crawfordsville, Indiana on June 13, 1970 the fairytale marriage began when he was united in marriage to the former Carolyn (Carol) Lee Shaw.

He was a 1965 graduate of the Thorntown High School in Thorntown, Indiana and attended the University of Washington and the University of Hawaii where he studied oceanography while in the military.

Mr. Keith proudly served our country with the United States Navy during the Vietnam War and was inducted into the military in Indianapolis, Indiana on May 6, 1965 and was honorably discharged with the rank of Ensign 6th Class at the Dam Neck Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach, Virginia on May 30, 1987.

For his meritorious service he was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal, four Good Conduct Medals, thirteen Presidential Citations, 17 Meritorious Citations, the National Defense Service Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal.

After relocating to Smith County following military service he was employed by the Dura Corporation in Gordonsville from 1988 thru 1994.

He then began his employment in Louisville, Kentucky where he was employed by the Regal Metrology Corporation where he was an installation technician. He was employed there from 1994 until his retirement on October 1, 2011 and he and his wife moved to the Defeated Creek Community and purchased their home overlooking Cordell Hull Lake in 1995.

The Keith family attended the Carthage Road Baptist Church.

In addition to being the Smith County Veterans Affairs Service Officer he was a member of the American Legion Post 57 in Carthage where he presently served as Vice-Commander and was a former Commander. He also was a charter member of the American Legion Riders.

Surviving in addition to his wife of just over fifty years are their two sons, Tony Keith and wife Carol of Thorntown, Indiana, Freddie Keith of the Defeated Creek Community; four step-sons, Howard Nelson and wife Laura of Texas, Timothy Wilson and wife Tracy of Covington, Indiana, Rock Wallace and wife Mindy of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Bradley Arterburn and wife Heidi of Sacred Heart, Indiana; sister, Julie Keith Roberts and husband Jim of Attica, Indiana; five grandchildren, 13 step-grandchildren and four great-great-children.