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January 16, 2019

12/5/2018 8:01:00 AM
Marshall Randolph Keith, 1961 - 2018
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Marshall Randolph Keith, 1961 - 2018

Marshall Randolph Keith, a resident of Skagit Valley for over 20 years, died with family by his side Thursday, November 29, 2018, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, WA after suffering a stroke.
Marshall was born on November 6, 1961, in Cincinnati, Ohio to Thomas Arbuthnot Keith III and Gloria Ann Carl Keith. He graduated from Wyoming High School in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1980 and went on to the University of Cincinnati, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and earned a B.A. in Economics and a minor in German studies in 1984. An accomplished tenor vocalist, Marshall studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and performed in numerous classical music events. He later earned his secondary teaching certificate in history and economics from Xavier University in 1995.
Marshall moved to the La Conner, Washington area in 1997 and became a beloved history teacher and coach at La Conner High School. His warm manner and deep interest in history, particularly WWII, inspired his students, and he kept in contact with many of them throughout the years. It was at this school that he met his future wife, another LCHS teacher, Suzann Schmittou.
In 2004, Marshall embarked on a months-long travel excursion that took him to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Thailand. Over the years, he continued teaching in several locations including Casablanca, Morocco and as the Dean of Students at a private school in Squaw Valley, California.
Marshall married his wife Suzann on August 3, 2007. The couple made their home in La Conner at Suzann’s family property where Marshall worked tirelessly to renovate the 85-year-old farmhouse. Marshall and Suzann were blessed with two beautiful daughters, Annika and Cecelia, and Marshall became a stay-at-home parent, caring for both young girls until they entered school. A devoted father, Marshall spent all of his time educating, nurturing, singing to, playing with and thoroughly enjoying his children.
Marshall inherited his love for music from his parents. He was a soloist in the 7th Presbyterian Choir in Cincinnati, Ohio and most recently spent many years as a lead tenor in the Bellevue Presbyterian Choir. He also played the tenor saxophone and could pick up any tune by ear.
Marshall traveled extensively over the course of his life, exploring Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, and 49 states; he thrived on meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. Marshall also loved cross-country road trips, motorcycling, bicycling, scuba diving, reading, and animals, particularly dogs and horses. Attending thoroughbred horse races at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky and watching his children swim and compete in sports were favorite activities.
Marshall was preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother, George Richardson Keith. He is survived by his wife, Suzann Schmittou Keith, and daughters, Annika Lynn Schmittou Keith and Cecelia Suzann Carl Keith. He is also survived by his siblings: Thomas Arbuthnot Keith IV (Teri) of Dallas, Texas; Philip Adamson Keith (Alissa) of Neenah, Wisconsin; Mary Stacy Keith Reibell (Charles-Henri) of Paris, France; Anne Keith Dusek (Alex) of Boston, Massachusetts; and Sarah Keith Morabito (Bill) of Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also survived by his parents-in-law, Van and Andrea Schmittou, of La Conner; sisters-in-law Beth Bowles (Matt) of La Conner and Sarah Storhoff (Bryan) of Seattle, Washington; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins, all of whom he adored.
Marshall’s three passions were family, music, and travel. He was known for the love he showed his family, his extraordinary voice, and the adventures he had around the world. A down-to-earth intellectual and Renaissance man, Marshall was a vibrant conversationalist who never met a stranger. He will be fondly remembered for his true kindness, delightful smile, and wonderful sense of humor.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, December 9 at 1:00 pm at Maple Hall, 104 Commercial St., La Conner, Washington, under the direction Kern Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to a trust established to support the college education of Marshall’s daughters Annika and Cecelia. Donations may be made through GoFundMe.com under Marshall Keith’s name. Alternately, gifts may be made to the La Conner Community Scholarship Foundation or the Wyoming School Foundation of Cincinnati, Ohio.
You may offer Marshall’s family condolences and share memories online at www.kernfuneralhome.com

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