Walter Keith Gaeddert left his earthly life and started his heavenly life on August 13, 2021. He faced serious medical complications in the final year of his life with optimism and hope. In spite of his pain and loss of ability, he regularly answered daily questions about how he felt by saying, "Oh, pretty good!" His enthusiasm and zest for life were steadfast throughout his 83 years.
Born in Manhattan, Kansas, Keith grew up in Inman, Kansas and graduated from Inman High School. He then attended and graduated from Hutchinson Junior College and Emporia State Teachers College. He was a gifted athlete in all school sports, leading his high school basketball team to win the state tournament. He also was one of the star players on the Hutchinson Junior College basketball team that placed 3rd in the nation in 1958. In 1957, Keith married the love of his life, Connie Goering, who supported, cared for and loved him through 64 years of marriage. They raised 2 sons, Bradley Gaeddert and Barry Gaeddert.
Keith's career as a CPA brought him to Ottawa, Kansas after graduation where he worked at the same firm for 44 years. He started in the role of Staff Accountant and rose through the ranks to his role as President/CEO of Agler and Gaeddert when he retired. He was a lifetime member of both the Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants as well as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Keith and Connie have made Ottawa their home since 1960, and he consistently served the Ottawa community. Keith was a member of the Board of Directors of Ransom Memorial Hospital for several terms, including serving as Treasurer and later as Chairman of the Board. He was President of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and also served on the board of Ottawa/Franklin County Economic Development, including a term as President. He was an elder at Westminster Presbyterian Church and served as chair of the Finance Committee for many years. He was a little league coach for two sons who couldn't play baseball very well, and so he supported them wholeheartedly in competitive swimming and the many pursuits and interests in which they engaged.
Keith collected antique tobacco tins and other tobacciana. The home basement was turned in to a museum which he proudly showed to anyone who visited. He was an avid fan of Kansas University men's basketball, a dedicated home gardener, and a lover of vodka and tonics. There were no strangers in Keith's life. Instead, everyone he met was gregariously welcomed, valued and a recipient of his wit and wisdom.
A celebration of Keith Gaeddert's life will be held on Saturday, September 18th at 10:30 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Ottawa and all are invited. Connie, sons Brad and partner Frank, and Barry along with grandsons Zachary and Micah, will gladly welcome your stories and remembrances of Keith at a reception following the service. Donations in Keith's memory are requested to be given to Westminster Presbyterian Church sent c/o Lamb-Roberts-Price Funeral Home, P.O. Box 14, Ottawa, KS 66067. Condolences may be sent to the family through www.lamb-roberts.com
Published by Lawrence Journal-World on Aug. 18, 2021.