Derwood Gail Keith, 100


Derwood Gail Keith died on Friday, April 26, 2024, at the Simpson Memorial Home in West Liberty.   

Visitation will be held 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at the West Liberty United Methodist Church with a Masonic Service to be held immediately following at 7 p.m. Funeral service will be held 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Church. Private family burial will be held in Muscatine Memorial Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Camp Courageous, Wilton FFA Chapter, Wilton Methodist Church or West Liberty Methodist Church.

Derwood’s funeral service will be livestreamed via the Henderson-Barker Funeral Home Facebook page. The live feed will begin shortly before the start time at 10:30 a.m.

You can begin the event by clicking the following link:

He was born at home in Calamus, Iowa, on April 20, 1924, the son of John Joseph and Elsie Paysen Keith. Derwood attended Country School in DeWitt, Iowa, and the Calamus Community School where he graduated in 1943. He then joined the U.S. Air Force (the Counter Intelligence Corp). After discharge he joined the Reserve Unit in Des Moines for 4 years.    

After his tour of duty he went to Iowa State University and Colorado University and received his Bachelors Degree and Masters Degree in teaching and Administration. He was the Vocational Agriculture Instructor and FFA leader in Wilton Junction Iowa.   

He was united in marriage to the love of his life Arlene Roberts on June 19, 1955, they were married for 66 years. She passed away in May of 2021. Following retirement, he and his wife Arlene opened the Flower and Gift Shoppe in West Liberty. Eventually they sold the shop and together they traveled before moving into the Simpson Village.   

He was a 50-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star where he held many offices a few of them were Worthy Patron, Associative Patron, Marshall, Warden, and Sentinel. He was elected Grand Sentinel and was on the Board of O.E.S Grand Trustees where he served for 5 years and then O.E.S. Educational Board in 2011 and served 4 years.  He held all stations in the line of Grand Chapter RAM. He was elected Grand High Priest in 1996. Chairman of the Board of Grand Trustees from 1990-2018.   

He was a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge (York Rite Masons) in Wilton.  He was secretary of that lodge for 30 years.   

He loved his community and was a member of the Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, United Methodist Church in Wilton and attended the United Methodist Church in West Liberty. He was a KAABA Shrine member of the Davenport Chapter. He served on the Simpson Memorial Board and chairman for 17 years.   

He leaves behind a brother-in-law Nevin Roberts (wife Janice) of Muscatine and sister-in-law Tina Keith of West Liberty.  He also leaves behind several nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. Jack Keith of Arizona, Valerie (Pat) Congdon of Atalissa,  Laurie (Kurt) Heckman of West Liberty, Brian Keith and his partner John of Sacramento California, Marsha (Brad) Berreth of Parker CO and Mary (Kevin) Woods of Denver CO.  Great nephews Ryan (Carman) Davis and Marcus (Brittany) Davis of Wayland, Iowa and Joshua Shiltz of West Liberty, Travis Shiltz of Atalissa, Iowa and Mikayla (Troy) Heick of West Liberty, Shane Keith of Arizona. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Arlene and two brothers: Donald and Vernon.