Keith Tuft

Richfield, Utah

TuftA. Keith Tuft, 95, of Richfield, passed away peacefully at his home on January 25, 2016. Born in Monroe on January 6, 1921 to Bertha and Herbert Tuft, he was the 9th of 10 children.

Keith grew up on the family ranch in Monroe and worked hard throughout his childhood and teen years. He developed a strong work ethic and was determined to find a job that would support a family of his own in the future. After graduation from South Sevier High School in 1939, his oldest brother Miles invited him to come and work for the John Deere Corporation in Moline, Illinois. It was there that he became interested in pursuing training to be an electrician. He went home to Sevier County and married Edith Nielson in the Manti Temple on September 30, 1941. Shortly after that Keith went to work in the Naval Shipyards in Seattle as America’s involvement in World War II escalated. During this time, Keith and Edith welcomed their son, Anthony Keith, to their family.

While working in Seattle, Keith picked up more training as an electrician, but it was his enlistment in the Navy in 1944 that provided the best training he felt he could get He served as an electrician aboard the USS Winston, a vessel that was part of a battle group set to invade Japan. Although his ship was carrying munitions, he had convinced Edith that it was carrying food and clothing and that he was not in harm’s way.

After the armistice, Keith, Edith, and their young son settled in Seattle. They loved the big city that was so different from Sevier County. In 1948, a daughter, Bonnie, joined the family. As a family they spent many weekends exploring the Seattle area. It was there that Keith developed an interest in golfing and later on became a very active fan of the University of Washington football and basketball teams. In 1976 he was overjoyed when the Seattle Seahawks came to town. Until the time of his death he continued to follow these teams and looked forward to watching their games. He was always ready to offer them suggestions for improvement. Edith passed away in 1985.

In 1987 Keith married Ruth Johnson. They lived in Seattle on Lake Washington where they enjoyed watching boaters, water skiers, seaplanes, and wildlife.

Keith and Ruth often attended University of Washington women’s basketball games and loved taking short trips. Ruth passed away in 2000 after a long illness. Keith moved to College Place, Washington to be closer to his grandchildren.

While in College Place, Keith became active in the local Lions Club. He met many new people and could be seen riding his bike around his neighborhood. In 2001 he reconnected with Alene Bell of Monroe, the widow of childhood friend Kirtley Bell. They made trips to see each other and married in August, 2002. They lived first in College Place, then in St. George, Utah, and finally settled in Richfield. Keith and Alene enjoyed car rides in their beloved Utah. They went to see relatives in Nevada, California, Oregon, and Idaho. They lived life fully and did not let their age stop them. They took good care of each other until Keith’s passing.

Keith enjoyed woodworking, golfing, watching sports, and working on home improvement projects. In his younger years he always made time to help relatives, friends, and the LDS Church with maintenance projects. He was known for his sense of humor and wisdom.

Keith was a member of IBEW Local #46, the Skyway, Washington VFW, the American Legion, and the Renton, Washington ward of the LDS Church.
Keith is survived by his wife, Alene Bell Tuft, Richfield; son, Anthony Keith Tuft, Somerville, MA; daughter, Bonnie Harper, Pendleton, OR; grandchildren: Scott (Julie) Harper and Kimberlee (Mark) Hanken, both of Portland, OR; great-grandchildren: Timothy Allen, Kyla and Blake Harper, and Claire and Lucy Hanken. Also surviving are numerous nieces and nephews.

Also preceding Keith in death were his parents; brothers: Miles, Rex, and Ted Tuft; and sisters: Irene Borg, Grace Pobanz, Beth Christensen, LaPreal Sylvester, Bernice Hicks, and his twin sister, Carol Schoenborn.
Graveside services will be held February 1, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. in the Washington Memorial Park Cemetery in Seattle, WA. Friends may call at the Magleby Mortuary in Richfield on Thursday from 6-8 p.m. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com

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