Keith Westenhaver 1927-2021 Obituary – Columbia Daily Tribune

Nichole S. Gehr

Keith Westenhaver, 94, passed absent peacefully on April 6, 2021 at Mill Creek Village in Columbia. Keith was born on April 2, 1927 to Marion and Trenna Westenhaver in Decatur, Illinois. He was a WWII veteran and served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Hollister. He married childhood companion […]

Keith Westenhaver, 94, passed absent peacefully on April 6, 2021 at Mill Creek Village in Columbia.

Keith was born on April 2, 1927 to Marion and Trenna Westenhaver in Decatur, Illinois. He was a WWII veteran and served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Hollister. He married childhood companion Janet Frye on August 13, 1950 at the First English Lutheran Church in Decatur, Illinois. They used several delighted a long time jointly, and celebrated their 69th marriage ceremony anniversary just prior to Janet passing absent on November 23, 2019.

Keith began do the job as a draftsman in an architectural business in St. Louis, then with an engineering firm in Decatur, Illinois, in advance of returning to the College of Illinois, the place he finished his architectural degree in 1957. He practiced in Decatur right up until 1970 when he moved his spouse and children to the increasing city of Columbia, the place he continued his architectural exercise as owner of his possess company. In 1975, he commenced development of the “family-built” household south of Columbia in Hillcreek Acres, in which he and Janet elevated their family, and has been their dwelling for about 46 many years.

Like his father, Keith was also an inventor: In 1972, he patented the “Safety-Pull” brake unit for travel trailers, and produced several units from the basement of his Decatur household. This device is continue to in use on journey trailers, and was the early forerunner to the wrist lanyard security devices discovered on outboard boat motors, jet skis and 4-wheelers.

Amongst Keith’s favorite architectural design and style assignments were being church buildings. He also loved his function with several Missouri point out jobs less than Governors Package Bond and John Ashcroft, which include renovations and additions to the Missouri Point out Capitol Setting up and Governor’s mansion from 1972 until finally he retired in 1999. He was elected in again-to-back again phrases to provide as president of the American Institute of Architects, and he was nationally renowned for his structural integrity knowledge. Keith was summoned as an specialist witness adhering to quite a few key structural failure tragedies, which include the 1981 Hyatt Regency walkway collapse in Kansas Town and the 1999 phase collapse in Branson.

Right after retiring in 1999, Keith actively pursued woodworking and genealogy hobbies. He loved developing with wood, and built and designed significantly of the wooden trim and furnishings in his house. He also wrote two thoroughly-researched family members background guides, and was happy of the family’s pre-Revolution colonial American roots.

Keith leaves at the rear of his two little ones, John Westenhaver and Ann Veros seven grandchildren, Jarrod (Megan) McGuire, Megan (Tyler) Lukehart, Cara (Travis) Yockey, Tony (fiancé Madison) Veros, Christopher Veros, Alexandra Veros, David Westenhaver and 11 good-grandchildren. Keith was dearly beloved and will be drastically missed by all who realized him.

There will be a personal spouse and children graveside support on April 13, where Keith will be laid to relaxation up coming to his beloved wife Janet in Fairlawn Cemetery, Decatur, Illinois.

Published on April 11, 2021

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