Robert Keeley

Robert James “Bob” Keeley died Dec. 3, 2023, at the age of 91.

Robert James “Bob” Keeley, was born at home on the Keeley farm on July 5, 1932 where, except for a few years while in the service and shortly thereafter, he lived his entire life. He passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 3, 2023.

Bob proudly served in the Navy Seabees during the Korean War, beginning his lifelong love of logging and construction equipment. One of the things he was always proud of was being involved in the atomic arms testing on Eniwetok Atoll island in the Marshall islands in 1951. He became contaminated when he was working on the refuse dump. On one trip home on leave, he met the sister of his Seabee buddy’s wife, Dorothy Pearl Arledge. They married in 1954 after being discharged from the Navy. They had 2 children, James and Marilyn. They were married for 55 years until she passed away in 2009.

Bob was hard working and honest. Deals were sealed with a handshake, and if he told you he’d meet you at a specific time, it would be exactly that time. And if you and he were to leave at a certain time, he would leave at that time, even if you weren’t in the vehicle. After his military service, he briefly drove a logging truck, then worked for Madsen Construction in Federal Way, finishing his working years at Jensen Sand & Gravel in Enumclaw, retiring in 1994.

Bob was a member of the Enumclaw Masonic Lodge. He was also a member of the Enumclaw VFW, and was Commander when the VFW hall was built in 1964. He enjoyed gathering with family and friends, and was a master of instigating a party, and then stepping back and letting others do the work. He was a jokester and teller of tall tales, accompanied by a slight grin and a twinkle in his eyes. He enjoyed camping, hunting and fishing, and driving forest roads looking for deer and elk.

After retirement, Bob and Dorothy spent winters at their second home in Yuma where many of their Enumclaw friends also spent their winters. Bob continued traveling to Yuma until 2020. He enjoyed restoring John Deere tractors with Jim, and participating in tractor pulls and shows. His favorite tractor was a John Deere 40 dozer. He loved to spoil kids and pets, and enjoyed feeding the birds in the back yard. He continued to feed the birds, rain or shine, during his stay at Expressions Memory Care.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Mary (Womach) Keeley; sisters Dorothy Stergion (Gus), Marge Scott (Willard), Rosemary Devlin (Jim), and Shirley Solomon (Mike) and brothers Roy Jr, and Neil (Shirley).

He is survived by daughter Marilyn Romberg (Steve), son Jim (Cathy), granddaughters Laura Six (John) and Erin Keeley (Alastair Brownlee), great-grandsons Benjamin Six and William Six, brother Richard (Dorie), sister-in-law Judy Arledge, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Services Memorial, Saturday April 6 2024 2PM, Enumclaw VFW