Robert Edward Keith

robert keith
Hendersonville – Robert Edward "Bad Bob" Keith, 61, of Mills River and Hendersonville, died peacefully at his home on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 after a long illness. Bob was born in Portsmouth, Virginia but moved to Mills River at the age of 15, after the death of his father. He was the son of the late Floyd Byron Keith of Parma, Missouri and Mary Lee Greene Keith of Mills River. He was preceded in death by his older brother and constant companion until age 4, Daniel Byron Keith and his younger brother, John Thomas Keith. Bob graduated from West Henderson High School. He went to work at General Electric while attending Blue Ridge Community College but soon discovered a traditional life was not in his future. Adventure and the open road called, and off he roared on his Harley Davidson. He was a charter member of the Southern Patriots Motorcycle Club. For years he traveled as a stagehand, working shows in Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas. He lived happily for extended periods in Atlanta, Georgia and Anaheim, California but never stopped missing the mountains of Western North Carolina. Periodically he would return home, working as a welder and furniture mover, always relying on brawn and stubbornness to make his way. As his health declined, the brawn disappeared but the stubbornness remained, along with old loves, motorcycles, dogs, and firearms and new loves, computers and gardening. Isaiah 40:21 "…those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Bob was the first to admit he didn't choose an easy path in this life, but he continued to hope in the Lord and was rewarded with a new life in Christ. His family and friends rejoice for him. He is survived by his sister, Kathy Keith of Mills River; a nephew, Joshua Keith Hemsath and niece, Ashley Laurel Hemsath of Hendersonville; aunts, Blanche "Bobbie" Bryson of Mills River; Hazel Shepherd and Ruth Ballard of Hendersonville; his Church Family at Emmanuel Baptist; his Community Family at Sugar Hill Apartments, and other friends. Bob dearly loved his hospice team. They are the angels who provided his care and made it possible for him to remain at home. Memorials may be made to Four Seasons Compassion for Life, PO Box 2395, Hendersonville, NC 28793. As per his wishes, his remains will be cremated, and then scattered from the Blue Ridge Parkway later this fall by family and friends.

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  1. To Those of Us Lucky Enough to Know Bob Keith.
    Bob was my first cousin.He was a bit older and had diferent intrest than I did growing up on our grandmother’s farm . .Bob had his own agenda .But he and I always got along.In spite of Bob’s different lifestyle,it was fun seeing him when he was at ‘home’ and he always had a halarious story to tell.Only one way to describe Bob was ‘rough and tumble’ . .I only heard stories about his ‘adventures’ but in spite of how bad they sounded or what the outcome was ,I’ll always admire Bob for one special reason.This big ,rough guy had a soft-spot a mile deep for his mother . .my Aunt Mary Lee.I am glad that he made some important changes.There’ll never be another one quite like Bob !! J.Larry

  2. I worked with Bobby and will always remember how funny and full of life he was. My condolences to his family.

  3. Bobby Keith was an original that is certain. He always followed his own path and did have interesting stories. Knowing his ashes will be a part of the mountains he loved and returned to time and time again makes me happy! When I see the things he enjoyed, they will be a gentle reminder of the spirit with which he lived his life! Knowing he found peace in his later days is a blessing! Happy journey Bobby because you are truly free!
    He will be missed by all who knew him. I know that it will be especially hard for his family as they must carry on without him. It is my hope that they will find comfort in the love they shared! My thoughts and prayers are with them daily as they continue to walk their journey. Sending my love to them!

  4. Bob was one of the first ‘locals’ we met when we moved here in 1973. We have many fond memories of Bob. He did have that Big Bad outer crust, but inside he was a real softy. I know he and roady friend, Frank are yucking it up together these days.
    Love ya Buddy!

  5. I met Bob as part of SPMC. He was one of a kind. Bob rode hard and worked hard. You have been and will continue to be missed by your brothers and sisters. Ride Free Bad Bob—–

  6. I had the privilege of going to school with Bob and working with him at G.E. Bob was the reason that I became interested in golf and I enjoyed many games with him at Etowah Valley. Please know that our prayers are with the entire family during this difficult time. ‘To be absent from the body is to be present with the LORD’.

  7. I met Bob on one of the online forums in which he participated. As difficult as it is to get to know someone in such an informal setting, I quickly understood his concern for others. Regardless of his writing style, it was obvious that he thought and cared deeply. One of his last posts included a picture of his tomato plants, which lead one of the other members to question what he did when someone took them without asking. He responded that he shared his garden with his neighbors and that the Bible tells us that we are to feed those who are hungry. Without even meeting Bob face to face, or shaking his hand, I can say that I miss him. However, from reading his obituary, it is obvious that he is now physically in the presence of his loving Jesus, and doesn’t miss this earth – not even the beautiful mountains of North Carolina

  8. To the Keith Family:
    May peace be with you and your family. As another soul passes on to another life it reminds us to spend time with the members he has left behind. Since we didn’t know Bobby I can tell by reading his obits that he left some lasting impressions on quite a bit of people. Sending you our sympathies, prayers and thoughts.
    Love you, Carol & Mike

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