Terry Montgomery Keeton, 80, stopped talking and breathed his last on Nov. 8, 2017. From his birth until his last few days, Terry was a communicator and a linguist who would talk to anyone he came across. He liked talking so much, he learned to do it in four languages: German, Spanish, Turkish and French.
Terry was born Aug. 5, 1937 in Eureka, Mo., to Virginia Bergfeld Keeton and Charles Lee Keeton II. Terry and his brother, Charles III, were well known for their talents for mischief and mayhem. “Those Keeton boys” were always hurting themselves at high speeds whether it be on a horse, a bike or a car, and they specialized in tormenting the local police. Terry was very proud that he received the first traffic ticket ever issued in Eureka for driving a vehicle that had “no lights, licenses or fenders”.
After serving as a Senate page in 1952 and finishing college, Terry’s skills for talking and hijinks took him all over the world. Terry travelled throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He worked for the State Department in Barcelona, studied French in Montpelier and Turkish in Turkey, and was sent to Germany with the Army as a translator, where he met the love of his life, a fiery German redhead named Ute Gebhardt.
Terry moved to New York City in 1965, taking a job selling computer mainframe supplies and quickly broke sales records. Eventually Ute joined him and they moved to Houston, Texas, where they had two children, Karla in 1968 and Charles in 1970.
In Houston, Terry started DataQuip and then K-Bar Data, supplying all Houston’s biggest companies (including NASA) with mainframe computer supplies.
Terry continued tormenting cops in Houston with his penchant for unorthodox vehicles, including a near arrest for driving his hovercraft on Braes Bayou in Houston. Terry was also a nationally recognized collector of French Citroen and Renault vehicles.
In 1989, Terry and Ute gave up the big city and came to Bucyrus. Terry loved his cars, his German Shepherds, his chickens, his emus, but he most especially loved his wife and kids, who were there with him in his final days.
Terry is survived by his wife, Ute Gebhardt Keeton; daughter, Karla Keeton-Page and her, husband Richard Adams Page; and son, Charles Lee Keeton and his wife, Kathy Ridley Keeton. His extended family includes sisters-in-law, Renate Horstmann in Canada and Christine Baker in England; and brother-in-law Wilhelm Gebhardt in Germany.
A small family service will be held for Terry in the spring, where his ashes will be driven fast in a strange French car and let fly free in the wind.
To send an online condolence to the family, go to www.evansfh.com. Per his wishes, Mr. Keeton was cremated under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.