Cover photo for James B. Keith's Obituary
James B. Keith Profile Photo

James B. Keith

Jim passed away Saturday, May 7, 2022, at his home in Shelbyville.

He was born June 19, 1931 in Plainwell, the son of Walter and Dorothy (Beckwith) Keith. Jim proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. For 40 years he worked at Michigan Gas Utilities as a service man until his retirement in the spring of 1994.

Jim loved being outdoors. He enjoyed spending time at the cabin he built with his wife, collecting traps, hunting and fishing. He was a member of Peace Lutheran Church of Otsego, North American Trap Collectors Association and the Otsego American Legion Post 84. On October 9, 1954 at Grace Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids he married Ruth Stankey who passed away in 2015.

Surviving are his children, Janet (Rodney) Kivell, Dan (Sherry) Keith, Sam Keith and Sarah (Stephen) Pope; grandchildren, Heidi (Todd) Campbell, Tonya (Brandon) Traxler, Andrew (Nicole) Pope, Joshua Keith, Ashley (Jamie Smith) Kivell-Boardwine, Bailey Kivell and Ian (Jess) Pope; 13 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Charles (Deann) Stankey along with several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; his brother and several sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.

Friends may visit with Jim’s family from 4-8 PM, Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego and from 10:00 A.M., Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at Peace Lutheran Church of Otsego, until the time of the funeral service at 11:00 A.M., with Pastor Nathaniel Timmermann officiating.

Burial will take place at 2:00 P.M., at Elmwood Cemetery in Wayland.

Military Honors by Otsego American Legion Post 84.

Contributions in memory of Jim may be made to

Peace Lutheran Church of Otsego


Wings of Hope Hospice.

Messages of condolence may be posted at


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Condolence Messages

Tim & Theresa Campbell

May 8, 2022 at 2:42 pm

Tim & I are so very for your families loss. Poppy was a wonderful man loved hearing a few of his stories. He will missed.


Cindy Culver Gordon

May 8, 2022 at 3:22 pm

Condolences to all Jim’s loved ones. So many great memories between our families. Rest well my friend.


Don Dekema

May 8, 2022 at 5:20 pm

So sorry to hear about Jim he was a great guy when I started working with those guys Jim was a Serviceman he taught me a lot at MGU.

My sincere condolences and sympathy to the family.

Rest In Peace old friend and co worker.

Don Dekema


Kathi Fuss

May 8, 2022 at 6:39 pm

Sending hugs and prayers to you and ✝️✝️


Maribeth Culver-Lammas

May 8, 2022 at 7:14 pm

We are so very sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. He was such a nice man and was so good to my parents. We will not be able to attend services, but know that our thoughts are with you. Maribeth Culver-Lammas & Andy Lammas


Kathi Fuss

May 8, 2022 at 8:30 pm

Sending hugs and prayers to all ❤️


Helen Blythe

May 9, 2022 at 1:25 pm

Jim was one of the few family cousins on our Fathers side.

Always looked forward to his family and Jims visit growing up.

Many memories and know we are sorry to hear of his passing.

Some of us will be unable to attend as we have age related issues.

Blythe , Carpenter families


Stephen J Otto

May 9, 2022 at 11:11 pm

Jim always had a smile when we visited. Always happy in his faith in Jesus. I liked him a lot. Love in Jesus. Pastor Otto


John and Carol Brill

May 10, 2022 at 12:45 pm

John and I send our love and prayers to Jim’s family. We had so many good times with Ruth and Jim at conventions through the years. How we loved sitting and sharing stories with Boyd, Doris, Jim and Ruth. Jim loved those times with family and friends from all over the country. We will miss Jim.


Charlie Kling

May 10, 2022 at 1:22 pm

Dear Keith family,

I’m so sorry for your loss of Jim. I have only fond memories of him and your mom.

I especially remember planting and picking out Christmas trees for the church on the old M-89 homestead.

We may be separated from Jim for now, but because of Jesus we have the opportunity to see all those that have gone ahead of us in faith, again.


Dan Holmes

May 14, 2022 at 7:30 pm

One of the true “good guys” .

I was lucky to have him has a friend.

R.I.P. “trapman Jim”


Doug and Judy Scheppelman

May 15, 2022 at 11:24 am

Janet, Dan, Sam and Sarah,

We were very sorry to hear about your dad. We are praying for you and your families.


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