Keith L. Kinkade
Keith LeRoy Kinkade passed away peacefully at the RiverStone Hospice in Billings, in the early evening of Aug. 30, 2021, at the age of 80. He was born April 21, 1941, in Tacoma, Washington. After he graduated high school, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. After his service as a Marine, he met Diane Hansen and they were married on Jan. 30, 1965. Soon after, he began his 34-year career with National Cash Register as a Field Engineer. They lived briefly in Butte as he received additional training with NCR. They then moved to Billings in 1966, where they lived for nine years. In 1975, they moved to Cody, Wyoming, where they lived until 1985, having been transferred again to Billings, where they have lived ever since. Keith was active in both parishes, St. Thomas in Billings and St. Anthony in Cody. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, and for several years was Scoutmaster to Boy Scout Troop 78, which was run at St. Anthony Church. He also sang in the church choir in both parishes. While living in Cody, he discovered Barbershop singing and sang bass, both in quartets (one group being The Stinking Water Four) and the chorus. He continued with barbershop singing when they moved back to Billings, and he was a member of the Big Sky Chorus and several quartets for many more years.
Keith was an avid punster and a veritable library of dad jokes, long before that term had come into common usage. He was also an expert at puttering, as he called it — simply keeping busy: sharpening ax blades, tending his garden, chopping firewood, fixing things in an old house that often required fixing. He also tackled much more serious projects, tearing apart and rebuilding the carburetor in our Plymouth despite never having done it before, installing heat radiators on the upper floor of the old farm house, and insulation in all the walls. His downtime was spent reading, often far into the evening. He had little interest in TV, except for a few gems like The Bob Newhart Show, Barney Miller, Gunsmoke and The Muppet Show. In addition to singing Barbershop and church choir, he learned to play guitar and piano. He would bring his guitar on camping trips and would lead the family in silly campfire songs. One of his favorite pieces on piano was Moonlight Sonata (first movement).
Keith is survived by his wife of 56 years, Diane; sons Michael (Jacky), James (Linda), Keith (Carie) and Richard (Jen); daughters Mary (Bob) Brink, Katherine (David) Gilliland and Elizabeth (Tommy) Espinosa; sisters Anne Thomisee and Margaret (Mike) Garrett; as well as 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by Elizabeth Kinkade (mother), Arthur C. Kinkade (father), Judith Kimball (sister), and Christopher Brink (grandson).
A vigil will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 6, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 7, at St. Thomas Church, 2055 Woody Drive, followed by interment at the Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to RiverStone Health, Home Care and Hospice Services (riverstonehealth.org), or Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org).
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