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Keith Wert, 93, of Wendell, Idaho passed away peacefully on Monday, October 29, 2018 in Twin Falls, Idaho with his family by his side. The hard-fought battle with congestive heart failure became incredible peace as he rejoined his loving wife and daughter whom he missed so dearly.
Wayne “Keith” Wert was born to Willard Utoka and Mabel Merle Graham Wert on November 10, 1924, in Humboldt, Nebraska. He was the oldest of 4 children and soon after Willabelle and John, and Loren joined the family. His early childhood was spent in Nebraska and they finally settled in the Orchard Valley area of Wendell when he was in the 7th grade. Growing up he enjoyed many memories of a close-knit family with many aunts, uncles, and grandparents living close by in Nebraska and the annual Christmas Eve oyster stew tradition that continues to live on with his children, grandchildren and siblings. Keith graduated from Wendell High School in the great class of 1942. After high school Keith joined the Air Force and was stationed in Ogden, Utah and Norwich, England. He was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force in November of 1945. He remained a proud supporter of his country and what Old Glory stood for his entire life.
Keith met the love of his life, Mildred Virginia Andrus, at a LDS dance in January 1946. They enjoyed a very short courtship and were married on May 14, 1946. It was truly love at first sight. Keith and Mildred were happily married for nearly 63 years. For those 63 years, they went everywhere together and when you saw one, you saw the other.
Keith and Mildred raised their three children, Pam, Phil, and Melanie, in Wendell. They enjoyed many hours supporting their kids and grandkids in all of their activities. Many hours were spent on bleachers of the local and out of town gymnasiums, football fields, 4-H arenas, auditoriums listening to band and choir concerts and watching plays. They even enjoyed some car racing at Magic Valley Speedway.
Keith worked at the Globe Seed and Feed in Twin Falls and McVey’s in Jerome as a bookkeeper and Ambrose Farms in Wendell. His heart was in farming. He spent countless hours checking the water and crops to ensure he was once again a top grower for Green Giant on his little farms in Orchard Valley and their farm south east of town.
Keith enjoyed his Sunday nights which were reserved for family Pinochle games. For years it was Phil and Keith versus June and Mildred and after Mildred passed away the tradition passed to Phil and Keith versus June and Melanie. The Sunday competition was fierce and he enjoyed every minute of these cherished Pinochle games.
Keith is survived by his two children, Phil (June) Wert and Melanie (Tom) Mattix of Wendell, Idaho; thirteen grandchildren, Curt, Jerry, Wendy, Kathy, Stephanie, Daphney, Tiffani, Phillip, Bethany, Whitney, Bradley, Michael, and Kelli; and 36 great-grandchildren; and 7 great-great-grandchildren. He is survived by his siblings Willabelle Campbell of Emmett, Idaho; John (Jody) Wert of Pine, Idaho; and Loren (Rita) Wert of Wendell, Idaho. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Maurine Parker, brother-in-law Bob Buchanan and son-in-law Bill Fleming and family friend MaryAnn Beorichia.
The family would like to extend a special thank you Doctor’s Desmond, Ficklin and Enomoto and their nursing staff and the staff and therapists at Bennett Hills in Gooding, Serenity in Twin Falls and Stone Bridge in Wendell for their wonderful care. The Saint Luke’s fourth floor doctors and nurses were especially kind. A special thank you to Nurse Practitioner Casey Spearing, of Dr. Enomoto’s office, and hospice staff Terry and Janet for their kind and compassionate care during his final months.
Keith is preceded in death by his loving wife of 63 years, Mildred; daughter, Pam Fleming, and his parents.
Funeral services will be conducted on Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 11:00 am at the Wendell L.D.S. Church. Burial will follow in the Wendell Cemetery.
A viewing will be held on Saturday before the service at 10:00 am at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made in Keith’s name to Wendell High School, in care of Kelli Jasper, 850 E Main St, Wendell, Idaho 83355. Contributions will go to the athletic and special education departments at the high school.
Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of Demaray Funeral Service – Wendell Chapel.
Condolences, memories and photos can be shared with the family by following the obituary link at www.demarayfuneralservice.com.