The Obit For Sonny Keith

James W. (Sonny) Keith Jr.

Published in The News Star from February 29 to March 2, 2012

James W. (Sonny) Keith Jr., 91, died Monday morning February 27, 2012 in Gonzales, Louisiana.

Mr. Keith was a long time resident of Monroe prior to his moving to Gonzales with Mildred M. Keith, his wife of 65 years. Known as Sonny to all his friends, Mr. Keith graduated from Neville High School where he starred in baseball. He continued his passion and talents for baseball; playing professionally in the Cotton States, Evangeline, and Texas leagues. His aspiring baseball career was disrupted by the advent of World War II. He enlisted in the Army, serving in the Combat Engineers and Military Police.

Upon discharge from the service Mr. Keith followed in the footsteps of his father in a career as an engineer on the Missouri Pacific Railroad where he retired after forty-two years. During this time he and Mildred raised four sons in Monroe. He was highly active on the baseball diamonds of Monroe, coaching teams in the Little and Dixie leagues for many years. He was a mentor and role model for many young men who would later achieve successes of their own and become leaders within the community.

Mr. Keith was an avid sportsman, hunting and fishing with his friends and sons Bill, Dick, Mike, and Dennis throughout the Northeast Louisiana area. Mr. Keith and Mildred transformed a camp on Lake D'Arbonne into a beautiful home from which he enjoyed many happy days hunting and fishing in his retirement.

Mr. Keith was preceded in death by his Father James W. Keith Sr. and Mother, Iris Keith; his sisters Alma Anders and June Roddy.

Survivors include his sister Betty Boye; his wife Mildred M. Keith; his sons and their spouses William W. (Karen) Keith, James D. (Beth) Keith, Michael R. (Cindy) Keith and Dennis E. (Cathy) Keith; 8 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

A visitation will be held at Kilpatrick's Funeral home Monroe on the evening of Thursday, March 1, between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00 PM.

A funeral service will be held at Kilpatrick's on Friday March 2 at 2:00 PM followed by interment at Mulhearn Memorial Park.