On Thursday, August 1, Robert “Bob” William Keefer passed away at the age of 89 in Mesa, AZ. Bob battled Alzheimer’s,but ultimately succumbed peacefully in his sleep to prostate cancer.
He was born in Allentown, PA to parents William “Bill” and Grace (Kocher) Keefer on February 21, 1930, but called Arizona home for 51 years. Bob leaves behind 2 daughters, Linda Keefer and Diana Michaels, who he had with his former wife Phyllis (Snyder) Wingfield; 3 grandchildren, Sean Olson, Andrea (Olson) Bohn, and Nicholas Olson; 7 great-grandchildren, Gabby, Braylon, James, Kendall, Luke, Austin and Samantha and close cousin Mary (Moyer) Kreisher. And finally, he leaves behind his cat, Oliver.
Bob graduated from Allentown Business School and served in the United States Navy. He retired from Motorola in 1985. Later in life, he went on to volunteer for years at the Red Mountain Muti-generational Center in Mesa, AZ.
Bob was a model railroad enthusiast, and among many passions were interests in geography, astronomy and spinning around the dance floor. During midlife, he was introduced to hiking which ultimately spurred him on to backpacking trips near and far, including New Zealand and Machu Picchu; Superstition Mountains, Grand Canyon and many smaller weekend hikes on trails in Arizona; and finally, he achieved the ultimate challenge of hiking all 486 miles on the Colorado Trail. He took short hikes daily with his dog at Usery Mountain Regional Park in Mesa where he met his girlfriend of many years Gina Carranza, his kindred spirit, back-packing companion and world travel partner. He was well known for saying he put over 12,000 hiking miles on his legs!
Bob had a gentle and thoughtful soul, an independent spirit, and was a man of integrity and strength. He was compassionate and caring and all who knew him rarely heard him complain. He preferred a few close friends over many acquaintances. As the ultimate pet lover he owned many dogs and cats in his lifetime. He will be missed immensely by everyone whose lives he touched.
A Memorial will be held in his honor, but as yet a date and location have not been determined.