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Keith Tracy ’64

April 8, 2019, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Keith was born in Sumpter, Oregon, and spent his childhood in St. Maries, Idaho. He joined the navy in 1942, served for four years, and upon discharge attended the University of Washington on the G.I. bill. It was there he met Joan Fries, the love of his life, who died a month before Keith. They would have celebrated their 70th anniversary on the day Keith died. Keith taught high school in Reed Point, Montana; Castle Rock, Washington; and Forest Grove, Oregon. He earned a master’s degree at Reed while teaching high school English and helping to raise three daughters.

In 1964, the family moved to Cheney, Washington, where Keith became an assistant professor of English at Eastern Washington University, retiring in 1987. He was not only interested in social justice, he practiced it. With his signature crew cut and wearing his trademark bow tie, he took his family to the first anti–Vietnam War march in Spokane. He looked out for those who lacked advantages, including some of his students at Eastern, and fully supported his wife and three daughters in their educational and career pursuits, well before it was common for men to do so.

Keith enjoyed gardening, and though he traveled many places during his life, he appreciated the simple pleasures nearby. He is survived by his daughters, Megan Bastow, Jean Tracy, and Ana Johnston.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2020

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