Monday, July 3, 2017

ALS and Bob Keeter, RIP Bob

Today, I sadly convey the news of Bob Keeter's passing. The following obituary he wrote himself tells his thoughts better than I could. It has been a long road for Bob and his family since his diagnosis with this pernicious disease. My thoughts are with his loved ones this day. 

Robert A. 'Bob' Keeter, born on July 13, 1955, at the old Alachua General Hospital and died on June 28, 2017 from ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) which began in April 2011 and slowly extinguished his physical abilities, overall health and ultimately, ability to breathe. 

I am survived by the truest loves life could bring, the perfect fulfillment of my most fervent dreams: my so deeply loved Beth (God's perfect gift when needed most), my daughters Danielle and Sydnie (who endured the crushing heartbreak of an earlier divorce, yet found ways to love and be loved) and my son Noah (whom I cannot write about without being overwhelmed by tears of absolute joy and yet sadness at being removed so early from his life). Beth's sister Lara and husband Rick, together with their children Sarah Beth, Annie, Gracie, Josh, Esther and Lucy have been loving travelers through my life. 

Those very dear family members who died before me were my beloved Mom and Dad (Barbara and Aden Keeter), my Mom's wonderful parents, Nana and Grandpap (Margaret and Frank Wilson) and Beth's Mom and Dad (Janice and Barry Graves) all of whose wondrous friendships, loves and desires to include me as well as so many others, forever positively changed my life. Their deaths created tremendous voids in my life. 

To all my past and current friends, co-workers, clients and acquaintances, I extend my most sincere and truly heart-felt thanks for all the camaraderie, conversations, smiles and overall kindnesses you extended to me throughout the years, and certainly after I became ill. As for any and all of my failed relationships, I offer a forever apology and hope in the end all will be forgiven. For my such beloved family I leave behind - Beth, Danielle, Sydnie and Noah - and friends, I continue my lifelong hope and dream we will one day all enjoy something even better together. 

2nd Timothy 4:7- 'I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith'. Psalm 107:1 - 2 Corinthians 1:4: 

A celebration of Bob's life will held on Monday July 3, 2017 at 1:00 PM at Grace United Methodist Church at Fort Clarke, with Pastor Rick Thompson presiding. 

Judge Langham's thoughts:

Bob was a partner of Mac McCarty (I know his name is not Mac, but that is what everyone called him; some say his "real name" is James, at McCarty, Naim & Keeter, P.A.), and was part of a tight-knit group that practiced in Gainesville and surrounding areas. I think I first met him through Jack Langdon, who had departed that geography for the solitude of St. Augustine by that time, though I was travelling there from Jacksonville to try cases before Jonathan Ohlman and hearing stories of the "old days" with Judge Akins. 

I was particularly touched by the manner in which the workers' compensation community rallied about Bob in the last several years. His diagnosis and prognosis was never good in my perception, yet his attitude and spirit were never bent nor broken. I am persistently in awe of such attitude and strength; I pray that when my day comes I will meet it with the humility, strength, class, and resolve that Bob had.

The Florida workers' compensation family has lost a long-time member. A Gator by heart and education, and a Florida workers' compensation lawyer for the last 33 years. Godspeed Bob.

Safe travels and comfort to all that travel this day to his celebration. 


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