Earl Greg Keyes
With courage and dignity, Earl Greg Keyes (Greg) quietly passed away in Boise, Idaho on October 24, 2020. Greg was born June 20, 1953 in Pocatello, Idaho where his father was stationed at the United States Naval Ordnance Plant. In the fall of 1953, Greg’s parents, Earl F. Keyes and Melva S. Keyes relocated to San Diego, California, where Earl was stationed during his deployment on the U.S.S. Ajax. Following Earl F. Keyes retirement from the United States Navy in 1955, the family, including Greg’s new sister, Margene, moved to nearby Lemon Grove, California where they continued to live until moving to Nampa, Idaho in 1964. Greg had many happy memories of his years in Lemon Grove. The San Diego marine climate allowed year-round outdoor activities. Greg, Margene and their neighborhood friends spent many hours playing games and exploring nearby farms. There were frequent trips to nearby Mission Beach, Imperial Beach and Lo Jolla where hours were spent observing marine life, body surfing, and playing in the sand. Exploring the San Diego Zoo and local parks was a family pastime for the Keyes family. The family also enjoyed their second residence located at the Al Bahr Shriners Camp in the Laguna Mountains where they recreated and shared time with friends. Greg loved sports of all kinds. His introduction to organized baseball as well as neighborhood basketball and football occurred while living in Lemon Grove. He was a participant in the Boy Scouts of America. Greg enjoyed happy family gatherings with aunts, uncles and cousins living nearby and in Pocatello. Greg moved with his family to Nampa in 1964 where he attended Eastside grade school, Central Junior High and graduated from Nampa, High School in 1971. During this period of his life he enjoyed participating in all sports. He particularly enjoyed playing football, skating at the Rollerdrome, watching movies at the Pix Theatre and skiing at Bogus Basin. Greg was a member of DeMolay, Key Club, Ski Club, and other youth service organizations. Greg and his family attended the First Congregational Church in Nampa and spent many hours engaged in church activities at the church and at its affiliated Pilgrim Cove Church Camp in McCall. Like typical young persons of his era, Greg enjoyed rock and roll, his cars and particularly his 650 Triumph motorcycle.
Greg attended the University of Idaho from 1971 through 1973 participating in Greek life and as a walk on defensive end to the football team. After leaving the University of Idaho, Greg worked a variety of retail sales jobs until his chronic, advancing disability eventually prevented him continuing to work. Greg worked intermittently for the Hamilton Stores in West Yellowstone, Montana. He reminisced about his good fortune of being able to work in the most beautiful natural setting in the world. While he was working at Yellowstone Park, he enjoyed hiking and observing the park’s wildlife. He particularly enjoyed interacting with the very diverse groups of park visitors he met during this time. Greg also spent several years working as a retail sales clerk at various stores and outlets in the Karcher Mall in Nampa. At one point, he drove a commercial truck transporting goods. He also worked seasonally for the Bogus Basin Ski resort.
Greg’s love for sports permeated his life. As an adult he bowled on various leagues for many years scoring multiple 200 plus games and attended yearly bowling tournaments until his physical health would no longer allow him to continue. He was a lifelong San Diego Charger and Pittsburg Steeler fan. He lived and breathed Boise State Football, faithfully watching every game. At one point, Greg worked as a volunteer for Boise State football practices and games spending hours on the sidelines. He enjoyed his interactions with the players and other staff. Greg also simply enjoyed talking football, often reciting in detail highlights from various games he had watched throughout his life. Greg enjoyed studying history and often shared his extensive knowledge of and perspective on world historical events.
In his later years, Greg was increasingly challenged by his disability and failing health. He spent his last years residing in various assisted living facilities in Star or Boise. He treasured the friendships he made with many of the staff and residents of these facilities. He was always grateful for his caregivers. He attended the Star Community Church in Star, Idaho where he felt at home and broadened his insight into his Christian faith. In his last few weeks, Greg knew he would soon leave this life and accepted this prognosis with grace. During his final days we simply shared stories; shared some laughs and tears along with some of his favorite deserts. When he was asked to share what he wanted people to know or remember about him he responded as follows: Foremost, he wanted people to know that he was a devout Christian and comfortable with his commitment. He described his favorite meal as the special Saturday night spaghetti his mom used to make for him. His two favorite songs were Maggie May by Rod Stewart and Hotel California by the Eagles. He really liked his 650 Triumph motorcycle and the exhilaration he felt when he rode it. He wanted to be remembered as a very dedicated Boise State Football fan. He wanted his family, friends, and caregivers to know that he enjoyed his relationships with them and very much appreciated all the help he had received in his lifetime. He expressed that he was tired and looked forward to joining his parents Earl and Melva in heaven. Greg passed away a few minutes before the Boise State football game started this last Saturday afternoon. We like to think he had the opportunity to join the team on the sidelines one last time before the completion of his journey.
Greg is survived by his sister Margene Ford and brother-in-law Bradly Ford as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews, grand nieces, and nephews residing in California, Colorado, and Idaho. Greg was preceded in death by his parents Earl and Melva Keyes and his half-sister Dee Ann Smith Berres.
Greg spent his last two years at Ashley Manor Senior Care in Boise, Idaho. His caregivers were incredibly great. Many stopped in to share kind sentiments about him after his passing. His family would like to thank the facility and Greg’s caregivers for their dedication, kindness, and friendship in caring for him. We also thank Auburn Crest hospice for their excellent support during these last few months.
Final arrangements have been made through Alsip Funeral Chapel in Nampa. In our effort to protect family and friends from the Covid threat, a memorial celebration of Greg’s life will be arranged at a later and safer time. Memorial contributions can be made in Greg’s name to the Star Community Church 439 North Star Road, Star, Idaho 83669 or the Idaho Humane Society.