Keith Goodspeed

Keith E. Goodspeed of Grafton died Friday, June 21, at The Highlands at Newcastle Place in Mequon, where he had been recuperating following an injury.  He was 88.

Mr. Goodspeed was born in Clear Lake on May 13, 1931, to Ernest and Hannah Jones Goodspeed.  

After graduating from Clear Lake High School in 1949, he enlisted in the Air Force and served during the Korean and Vietnam wars as a flight line maintenance technician and supervisor and as a classroom instructor for fighter-interceptor fire control radar systems.

While in the service, Mr. Goodspeed was part of Operation Bootstrap, a program that allowed him to earn a bachelor’s degree in general education from the University of Nebraska-Omaha while still on active duty.

While in the service, he married Nancy Lee Baumann, of Hobart, Ind.

During his years in the service, they lived on military bases in a number of places, including Kansas City, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Germany, his son, Ross Goodspeed said.

The couple had four sons, all of whom followed their father into military service.

In April 1974, Mr. Goodspeed retired from active duty and became a human resources administrator for Clyde Iron Works in Duluth, Minn., and later personnel director for Diamond Brands in Cloquet, Minn.

In 2001, Mr. Goodspeed moved to Grafton to be near his partner, James Kailas, Ross Goodspeed said.

“Wisconsin was home for him, having grown up here,” his son said. “He traveled the world and wanted to come home.”

He enjoyed history and philosophy, playing classical piano, stamp collecting and traveling.

While he had few if any household pets, Mr. Goodspeed loved wildlife and often fed animals who frequented his back yard, his son said.

He had a wide range of interests and was widely read, studying philosophy and attending seminary in Minneapolis for a time, his son said.

He also supported many charities, his son said.

“I’ve had his mail forwarded to my house and almost every day there’s mail for Bibles for some country, rice for Cambodians; my dad contributed to every single possible charity and non-profit in the world.     

“He had money taken automatically out of his accounts for charities,” he said. “He cared a lot about the (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and (American) Legion and wounded veterans. He was very veteran based.”

He is survived by his sons Jeffrey of Cloquet, Minn., Scott (Christin) of Blaine, Minn., Craig (Mindi) of Plano, Texas, and Ross (Rachel) of Dayton, Ohio; 12 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.  

He was preceded in death by his parents, his former wife Nancy; brothers Leon and Wayne; sisters Jesse, Jean, Beatrice, Phyllis and Shirley; and partner James Kailas.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 29, at Eernisse Funeral Home in Port Washington.  

Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in Milwaukee.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to a charity of the donor’s choice.




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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
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