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-Keith Wells-

Keith Wells was born December 13, 1912 in rural Washington County, Iowa to Roy Wells and Jessie Clara Johnston Wells. He attended school in West Chester, Iowa and graduated with the Class of 1931. He married Margaret Alice Crayne on June 24, 1936. Keith attended business school for two years at the Ottumwa School of Business and learned the grocery trade at Glen Barclay and Big Giant in Washington, IA, then continuing in Macon and Kirksville, Missouri.

Keith served his country by enlisting in the Navy at Fort Des Moines in March 1943 and was honorably discharged as Seaman First Class in March 1945. His young family settled in Keota, Iowa in 1947 where Keith was the much-loved grocer at the Keota Food Center from 1947 - 1965. After losing Alice to cancer in 1961, he married Mary Verlee Smith Pierce on August 24, 1962.

As an active 4-H'er he raised a Grand Champion steer and fostered a fondness for the Iowa State Fair, which became an annual tradition. Keith was an active member of the Lions Club, American Legion, VFW and a past member of the K. P. Lodge and the Odd Fellows Lodge. As a member of the United Church of Faith, he served on the church Session and he served his community as a member of the Town Council. His favorite past times were reading, watching the Iowa Hawkeyes, and Chicago Cubs.

Keith passed on Dec 5, 2008 just 8 days shy of his 96th birthday. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Gail Bosworth, and son-in-law, Lyle McKenzie. He is survived by his wife, Verlee, and his sister, Mary Parker of Burlington, IA. Keith loved his constantly expanding family of 4 children, Nancy McKenzie, Spring Grove, MN, Sue (Don) Jorg, Waterbury, CT, Bill Wells, Albuquerque, NM, Robyn (Patrick) Wells-Vogel, Keota, IA; 2 step-children, Rick Pierce, Washington, IA, and Rita (Robert) Schmidt, Iowa City, IA, 5 grandchildren, Roger and Connie McKenzie, Chad, Christopher, Charlie Halverson, 5 step-grandchildren, Jessica and Mathew Schmidt, Richard Jr., Robert, and Roy Pierce, and 19 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews survive him.

Keith’s amiable nature, smothering bear hugs, hardy handshakes and his friendly ear pulls will be missed and fondly remembered by friends and family alike.

Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, December 8, 2008, at the United Church of Faith in Keota, with Rev. Dennis Hopes officiating. Burial was at Elm Grove Cemetery in Washington. Visitation was from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 7, 2008, at the Powell Funeral Home in Keota.

In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established for the United Church of Faith or the Wilson Memorial Library. Powell Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Keota is handling the arrangements. Condolences may be e-mailed at www.powellfuneralhomes.com under obituaries.