Keith was born in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada September 05, 1941. He was born in the Galt Hospital which is currently the Galt Museum. His parents were Leonard Fredrick Payne and Naida Lapriel Draper. He was the second of five boys.
Shortly after he was born, his parents moved to the Cardston area, where his father worked on a dairy farm. This is where Keith developed his love of animals. Particularly horses and dogs.
The Second World War had already begun, and his Father volunteered to serve in the war.
So Keith and his older brother were being raised solely by their mother. Keith’s father was away at war for a few years. When his father returned they built a house up on the south hill in Cardston where they lived for a few more years.
When Keith was about 11 years of age, his parents purchased a farm out in Leavitt. At this same time, they also owned the butcher shop in Cardston. With the responsibilities of running a farm and a butcher shop, this is where Keith learned his strong work ethic.
At a young age, he met Carol Bengry, whom he married and had 6 beautiful children. Bruce Alan, Michael Keith, Clark Spencer, Susan LeAnn, Lori Jean, and Jefferey Byron.
Keith and Carol started their married life at The Birdseye Ranch near Waterton, where Keith was a ranch hand.
Over the next several years they lived in various locations in southern Alberta which included, Stirling, Cardston, Medicine Hat, and eventually they ended up in Calgary. Keith got a job with the Calgary Transit driving city bus, which he worked at for 7 years. Of all the jobs that Keith had to this point, this was the job he enjoyed the most.
Keith and Carol’s marriage was not going well, in 1973 Keith decided to end the marriage.
In 1973, Keith met Priscilla Palotas and they began their life together. At the time of his passing they had celebrated 47 happy years together.
Keith and Priscilla moved to Lethbridge and he worked as a sales rep for Western Canada Hardware. His territory covered most of southern Alberta. During his employment with Western Canada Hardware, he was a territory manager. He received many accolades and awards for his hard work and dedication.
While Keith was living in Lethbridge he was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and held many different positions in his ward. He was an Elder’s Quorm President, counsellor in a bishopric, Sunday School teacher, High Priest Group leader and home teacher. He took his callings very seriously.
Keith always wanted to own his own business. Hardware what he knew best. An opportunity became available in Cardston in 1986 to purchase a hardware store. He took that opportunity and opened the Pro Hardware on main street in Cardston. He took great pride in building a clean esthetically pleasing and well stocked hardware store. This store is owned by other people currently, but is still functioning today.
This store became a source of stress for both Keith and Priscilla who both worked very long hours to make this business profitable. After running this business for 10 years they decided the stress was too great and decided to sell the business and move on to a new endeavor.
Keith was searching for his new endeavor, and was under significant stress. In 1996 he suffered a heart attack and needed double bi-pass surgery. This was a significant health concern which he took very seriously. He changed his diet, changed his level of activity, and tried to reduce his stress.
Keith and Priscilla moved to Lethbridge. He went back into sales as a sales rep for Gateway Publishing. This was another traveling sales position and he covered most of Alberta, into B.C. and into parts of Montana. He was a territory rep and he received many awards and recognitions for his hard work.
2006 Keith started to slow down in his work. He and Priscilla decided to spend the winters in Mesa, Arizona. When they would come home from Arizona, Keith would work for Gateway for the summer. He did this for 2 years and then decided it was time to retire.
Keith and Priscilla continued to winter in Arizona for a total of 12 years. They made many friends and thoroughly enjoyed their time there. Keith engaged in numerous activities while living there, but two of his favorites were water volleyball and table pool. He excelled at table pool and assisted his team in winning several competitions.
Due to Covid-19 and their age putting them in a high risk category, they have chosen to remain safer by staying at home since March of 2020.
The first of September, Keith developed issues with his health. By mid-October he was diagnosed with Cancer. It was a very aggressive cancer and there were significant declines noted from one week to the next in the first two months. In the last month of his life, significant declines were noted from one day to the next. He maintained his sense of humor throughout his illness. Constantly making jokes, laughing at jokes with all of his visitors.
Keith will be sorely missed by all who knew him, but most especially by his family. We are relieved to know that he is no longer suffering in pain. We have faith in our knowledge that he is united with his parents and loved ones who have gone before him.
Friends may meet with the family on Sunday, December 27, 2020 at Christensen Salmon Generations Funeral Home, 703 - 13 Street North, Lethbridge from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Due to Covid-19, we ask those wishing to attend to please call the funeral home and book a time to visit. Masks are mandatory.
A Private Family Service will be held on Monday, December 28, 2020 at Christensen Salmon Generations Funeral Home at 10:30 a.m.
To send flowers to Keith's family, please visit our floral store.