KILLINGTON — A celebration of life will be held at the Summit Lodge in Killington on Oct. 12, from 3-8 p.m. for Kenneth P. Keim who passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early morning hours of Sept. 20. He received wonderful care at the Mountain View Center in his last weeks, and at the Rutland Regional Medical Center over the years. All are welcome to join the family for beer, wine and light food. There will be an open mic, so please come ready to share your stories and jokes. A Mass will precede the celebration at 1 p.m. at Our Lady of the Mountains.
Kenneth was born on Sept 14, 1936 in Queens, N.Y.
He graduated from LaSalle High School in Manhattan, and went on to electrician apprentice school. He became a Journeyman Electrician and then a foreman, and was a member of the New York City IBEW for 13 years.
Ken joined the U.S. Navy, where he was a Second Class Petty Officer and Aviation Electrician Mate, first in Brunswick, Maine (where he learned to ski) and then at the NATO Naval Base in Sicily.
He met Patricia Ann Kebe on a blind date, and they married on Oct. 9, 1965. In 1968 they moved their growing family to Killington, where they put down roots and involved themselves in the humble beginnings of a small ski town. Pat was elected Town Treasurer, a position she held for many years, and Ken arrived at just the right time to fill the shoes of the only electrician in town, who was retiring.
In his spare time in Killington, Ken volunteered his services in many ways. He served on the Sherburne Volunteer Fire Department, as Deputy Chief, Vice President and President. He was a longtime Parish Council member at Our Lady of the Mountains, and helped coordinate with the United Church of Christ on common projects. He was also a founding member of the ecumenical Easter Sunrise Service. Ken served on the committees that built the “new” Sherburne Elementary School and the Johnson Recreation Center in the early 1970s. When Josephine Blanchard suggested the town should have fireworks on the 4th of July, Ken took the idea and ran with it, ordering the fireworks, building ground displays, organizing volunteers and setting off the fireworks with a flare stuck on the end of a 2×4. He was a charter member of the Killington-Pico Rotary Club, and was their first Paul Harris Fellow. He filled many elected and appointed Town positions, including Town Auditor, Town Agent, Fence Viewer, Energy Coordinator, and Weigher of Coal. Ken and Pat hosted several KTP (later KMS) students in their home. Ken was a USSA Alpine Official; he volunteered at Killington Ski Club as their Alpine start Official for many years. His latest project was researching a way to preserve Bob Perry’s 16mm films of the Killington Ski Area; he felt very strongly that Bob’s enormous contribution to Killington’s history needed to be preserved and shared for generations to come.
Ken’s interests were varied and many. He was a voracious reader, an avid telemark skier, an accomplished photographer, a casual golfer, a frequent traveler, a savvy eBay shopper, and a talented storyteller. He was always ready with a joke. And through it all he battled numerous health issues, many stemming from Crohn’s Disease, with humor and grace.
He is survived by his wife Patricia; daughters Ann Marie and her husband Aidan Thomas, Christine Vandeberg, and Kathy and her husband John Ferrara; grandchildren Delaney Thomas, Liam Thomas, Abby Ferrara and Evan Ferrara; sisters Rita and Dorothy; sister-in-law Patricia; nephews Glenn and Robert; cousins Diane, Lois and Ed. He was also much loved by an extended family, close childhood friends, equally close local friends and a community that meant a lot to him.
He was predeceased by his parents, John and Rita (nee McGrath) Keim, his brother Arthur, and several childhood friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations are very welcome to the Bob Perry Film Restoration Project. Checks can be sent to the Killington Town Office at P.O. Box 429, Killington, VT 05751.
This obituary first appeared in the September 26, 2013 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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