K.J. Cap Keith


Kent James “K.J. Cap” Keith, 92, of Ekalaka, died Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, in the Dahl Memorial Nursing Home in Ekalaka.

Mr. Keith was born Nov. 16, 1921, in Ekalaka, the third of four children born to James and Ethel (Adam) Keith. He grew up and attended country school in Carter County, later graduating from Spearfish High School in South Dakota.

Following graduation, he returned to the ranch until he enlisted in the United States Air Force on Dec. 8, 1941. He was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served as a bombardier in the 388th Bomb Group, flying out of Knettishall England.

After his honorable discharge, Mr. Keith once again returned to the ranch in Ekalaka. After several years of ranching, he met his wife to be, Jessie Graham, in Baker. They were united in marriage on July 3, 1959, in Billings.

Mr. and Mrs. Keith returned to the ranch to raise their family. Through the years, they raised sheep and cattle. Mr. Keith enjoyed hunting, trapping, target shooting and was very competitive in it. His motto was “a good coyote was a dead coyote.”  

Due to declining health, Mr. Keith spent his last year at Dahl Medical Nursing Home. He especially enjoyed his family, grandchildren and family gatherings. He was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Carter County Sheep and Cattle Growers, and Montana Wool Growers.

He is survived by his two sons, Jim (Hyonny) Keith of Miles City and Jerry “Wally” (Michelle) Keith of Ekalaka; son-in-law, Dave Lamphere of Ekalaka; step-daughter, Patty Day; seven grandchildren, Vicki (Jim) Wilkinson, Kala (Py) Garnier, Charlie Keith, Katherine Keith, Micki (Blaine) Koslofsky, Randi Keith, Lacey Keith; four great-grandchildren, Kent Wilkinson, Pvt. Kyle ( Pvt. Brittany) Wilkinson, Aria and Alyana Keith; and sister, Lois Karn of Spearfish, S.D.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Ethel Keith; wife, Jessie; daughter, Joyce Lamphere; sister, Marjorie Curry; and infant sister, Fern.

The family will receive friends from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, at Stevenson Funeral Home in Ekalaka.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, at the Stevenson Funeral Home in Ekalaka. Burial will in the Beaver Lodge Cemetery with Military Honors by the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post of Ekalaka.

Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.stevensonfuneralhome.com