William “Bill” Harvey Keith ’49

William “Bill” Harvey Keith ’49, of Gastonia, N.C., died suddenly at his home on Jan. 29. He was born in Greenwood, S.C., on June 6, 1928, son of William Calhoun and Lucille Harvey Keith. He grew up in Greenwood, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, and maintained friendships and ties to the community for the rest of his life. Keith graduated from Davidson in 1949 and was an avid, lifelong Wildcat fan and supporter. He was chairman of the Davidson College Annual Fund for his class and served as class secretary and in many other capacities. In 1994, he was awarded the Davidson College Alumni Service Award. He attended the School of Banking of the South at LSU in 1958, and completed the executive program at Chapel Hill in 1974. Keith worked for banks in Greenwood and Barnwell, S.C., and Wilson and Brevard, N.C., before moving to Gastonia with First Union National Bank in 1966. He was employed by First Union for 30 years, the last 22 as area vice president. He joined the board of Gaston Federal in 1991, now Citizens South Bank, where he became a director emeritus in 2000. Keith was married for over 59 years to his beloved Mary Katherine Nye Keith. They have been active members of First Presbyterian Church since 1966, where Keith served as Sunday school teacher, elder, and chairman of the pastor nominating, finance, and stewardship committees. He was an active volunteer and community leader; a former president of the following organizations: Gaston County YMCA, Gaston Chamber of Commerce, Gastonia Kiwanis Club, United Way, Gaston County Education Foundation, the Heart Society, and chairman of both the Gaston Housing Authority and the board of Gaston Memorial Hospital. He co-chaired the Ashbrook Stadium fundraising effort. He was an accomplished schoolyard athlete and participated in sports throughout his life. He loved tennis and golf, making holes in one in 1992 and 1999. In addition to his wife Mary Katherine, Keith is survived by his daughter, Katherine Keith Thomas (Ken); his son, William “Bill” Harvey Keith, Jr. (Marie); and his daughter, Anne Keith Lupo ’83 (Dickson). The Keiths loved and shared six grandchildren: Cooper and Will Thomas, Caroline and Madison Keith, and Mary Katherine and McCarthy Lupo. Their family also includes Paige, Maddison, and Jackson Thomas. Keith was devoted to the many members of his extended family. They include his brother, Graeme McGregor Keith ’54 (Gloria), nephews, Greg and Russ, and niece, Cary Ellen Heberton; cousins, Anita Harvey Watson King (Jack), Jane McGowan Howle (Emmett), Marian McGowan Nisbet, and Mrs. J. Erskine Love and her family; Keith, John, and Peter Seago, and Jane Harvey Frey (John). He is preceded in death by his cousins, J. Erskine Love and Hazel Harvey Nichols (wife of the late, John R. Nichols ’39). Keith truly relished life and all the good things God brought into this world. He enjoyed the loving company of his wife; rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Davidson Wildcats, and the Ashbrook Greenwave; reading a book a week; green shrimp; sharing his homemade oatmeal cookies; breakfast with his Gastonia pals; walking along the shores of Wrightsville Beach; the accomplishments of his grandkids; visiting friends from childhood and college; good North Carolina barbecue; church services that began and ended promptly; the “Hallelujah” chorus; and the people and community of Gastonia, his beloved home for over 47 years. Memorial donations may be made to Davidson College, The William H. Keith Scholarship Fund, Box 7174, Davidson, NC 28035-7174.