Sam Keith, 83, passed away peacefully at his home in Warren, Texas, on May 30, 2023. He was born on Oct. 3, 1939, in Wichita Falls, Texas to Sam Keith and Opal Thompson Keith.
Sam is survived by his wife of 66 years, Wanda Lewis Keith; brother John Keith and his wife, JoAnn; son Jimmy Keith and his wife, Margaret; and daughter, Tanya Behrens and her husband, P. D. Sam was known as “Papa Sam” or “Poppy” to his four grandchildren: Joshua Keith and his wife, Sara; Brady Behrens and his wife, Janaye; Cates Keith and his wife, Brandi; Samantha Templeton and her husband, Joshua and ten great-grandchildren: Elliot, LaKota, Paul, Landry, Lane, Sarabeth, Grant, Jamey, Gabe, and Lucy.
Sam grew up in Burkburnett, Texas, and graduated from Burkburnett High School. It was a debate amongst brothers who was the “genius” of the family, but anyone who knew both Sam and John would agree that they were both gifted in their own way. Sam married his high school sweetheart and perfect life partner, Wanda Adell Lewis, in 1957.
Sam and Wanda lived quite the adventure in their 66 years together. At 18, Sam began working as a labor hand for Magnolia Petroleum Company. Sam continued his education over the course of 10 years while simultaneously working shift work, and eventually obtained his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Lamar University in 1973. Sam worked his way up and became the Plant Manager of the Mobil Olefins and Aromatics Complex in Beaumont, Texas then the Manager of the Yanpet Complex in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.
During their 10 years living in Saudi Arabia, Sam and Wanda had the opportunity to travel to various parts of the world and made numerous friends along the way. After 40-plus years, Sam retired from ExxonMobil and started the pursuit of his second life.
Sam was a lifelong learner who drew inspiration from great music, great books, and dreams. He sought out mentors who then became his close friends. Sam became an accomplished painter, photographer, writer, marathon runner, cyclist, rancher, musician, and collector of books. He stayed current in researching the latest gear and technology and was the go-to expert for his kids and grandkids.
In 1993, Sam and Wanda discovered the charms and wonderful people of Creede, Colo., and became part-time residents of that community. The rest of their time was spent on their beloved farm in Warren, Texas. Together, Sam and Wanda had many friends whom they considered family.
Sam left an incredible legacy through his family, friends, works of art, and pursued dreams. Sam always said that he was looking for the “light,” both in his art as well as in life. He was interested in “the choices we make in life, the forks in the road, the freedom and spirit of living, and the many struggles in life.” Anyone who knew Sam couldn’t help but be impacted in some way. We can only imagine the journey of discovery that he is now on and know without a doubt that his spirit lives on…
A private celebration will be held with family and close friends to remember and celebrate Sam’s incredible life.
Cremation services were held under the direction of Riley Funeral Home, Woodville, Texas.