Donald Keyes, 97, of Wykoff

Donald Keyes

Donald Lee Keyes, 97, of Wykoff, died on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, after a short stay at Ostrander Care Center.

He was born on Oct. 24, 1920, in Strongs Prairie, Wis.

In his late teens following the dream of “Go west young men,” he made it all the way to southeastern Minnesota where he met his future wife.

On May 19, 1940, Don was baptized and confirmed at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Wykoff where he remained an active member.

As many other young men of the time, he served his country in World War II. He spoke often of his experience as a LINK trainer and his passion for airplanes continued throughout his life.

In 1945, he married his sweetheart, Helen, whom he had courted by mail. During their 73-year marriage, they raised their large family on a dairy farm outside of Wykoff. When they retired, the couple moved to town, where he enjoyed growing things as he gardened well into his 90’s.

Don and Helen were involved in Root River Lutherans for Life for many years with Don serving as treasurer until January 2018.

He is survived by his wife, Helen (Kohlmeyer) of Wykoff; children, Ellen Collett of Minnesota, Sarah (Mike) Zachow of Michigan, Tim (Cindy) Keyes of Illinois, Peter (Marci) Keyes of Minnesota, Lois (Rob) Deyonker of California, Joe (Karen) Keyes of Minnesota, Mary (Steve) Flachs of Michigan, Ben (Theresa) Keyes of Minnesota, Danelle (Mike) Keyes-Condra of Michigan; sister, Judy Lewis; sisters-in-law, Evelyn Keyes, Ruth Grabau and Dorene Vomhof; 26 grandchildren; 44 great-grandchildren; nine great-great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his sons, Lee, Jerome, Roger, Mark and David; brothers, Gale and John Keyes; sister, Lillian Schlieve; brothers-in-law, Ed Schlieve, Jim Lewis, Leonard Meyer, Reuben Grabau, Claire Vomhof and Walter Kohlmeyer and sisters-in-law, Polly Keyes, Dorothy Meyer and Eunice Kohlmeyer. 

A memorial service for him will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 29, at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Wykoff. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 on Thursday, June 28, at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to St. Johns Lutheran School of Wykoff or Lutherans for Life.