GILBERT “GIB” JOSEPH KEITER
Gilbert “Gib” Joseph Keiter, 91, of Gardner, Kansas for 45 years and most recently of Olathe, Kansas passed Friday, May 14, 2021 at his home.
Gib was born on August 26, 1929 in Mt. Vernon, Kan to Bernard Joseph and Josephine Veronica (Konecny) Keiter. He was the 5th of 9 children and grew up in Mt. Vernon,Kan. He went to Saint Rose Catholic School through 8th grade but was not able to attend any further education due to the cost, helping with the family farm and World War II. He then took correspondence courses via mail from American School in Chicago, IL and received his GED in 3 years’ time. One of his passions was baseball. He went to the minor leagues in Wichita, KS and then turned down a chance to play for the Detroit Tigers in order to chase his other dream of flying when he joined the United States Air Force in 1951 when the Korean War was underway. He attended Radio Operator School, the Aviation Cadet Program and then served as a Fighter Pilot the remainder of the time. In his time in the Air Force flying jets, he earned the title of 2nd Lieutenant where he became a member of the Mach Buster’s Club when he exceeded the speed of sound in a USAF F-86 Sabre Jet. In 1955, he then joined the Kansas Air National Guard where he served for 6 ½ years and flew F80, F86, and F100 type aircraft and earned the title of Captain and Flight Leader. During this time he attended the University of Wichita and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree – Math major, in June of 1961. The next 30 years he worked with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an Air Traffic Controller and Automation Specialist/Supervisor. Places of duty included Wichita Tower, Chicago Midway Tower, FAA Academy for 4 years as an instructor in Oklahoma City, Okla. and Kansas City Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) in Olathe, Kan. After his retirement he continued to work for the FAA as a contractor (DISC) for 10 years as a Lead Software Engineer/Site Manager. Other activities: 4-years on School Board of USD231, 3-years as AARP tax aide, High School Sacred Heart Religious Education Teacher 2-years, Divine Mercy Catholic Church Finance Committee 2-years as well as Church Executive Committee for an additional 2-years, volunteered with Catholic Charities in Olathe and was an active member of the Knights of Columbus for 50 years with 11 of those years as Financial Secretary.
He married Barbara Arlene Swoyer in Wichita, Kan on May 28, 1960 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Wichita, Kan and was married for 61 years. They have 6 children – Kenneth B. (Liz) Keiter, Eudora, KS, Gerald B. (Christine) Keiter, Overland Park, Kan, David F. Keiter, Overland Park, KS, Kathleen A. Smith, Osawatomie, Kan, Cynthia M. (Michael) Paparella, Brighton, Mich. and Michael J. (Jamie) Keiter, Ottawa, Kan – 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Gib was preceded in death by his parents and siblings: Bernard Joseph Keiter, Josephine Veronica Keiter, Clement (Clem) Keiter, Edmond (Ed) Keiter, Rosella (Sally) Wolf, Juliana (Julie) Landwehr and Vincent (Vince) Keiter. He is survived by his wife Barbara Keiter, their 6 children and families, and his sisters, Bernetta (Bert) Lebrick, Manitowoc, WI, Thelma (Tez) Traffas and Marjorie (Marge) Blubaugh both of Wichita, Kan.
Visitation will be Friday, May 28, 2021 at 9:30 am, Rosary at 10:30 am and Mass at 11:00 am – St. Paul Catholic Church, 21650 W 115th Terrace, Olathe, Kan. Inurnment with military honors to follow at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery, 15800 S Hwy US 169, Olathe, Kan 66062. Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, American Heart Association or St. Paul Catholic Church building fund, Olathe, Kan. Arrangements: Bruce Funeral Home, Gardner, KS (913) 856-7111. Condolences may be left at www.brucefuneralhome.com.