STEUBENVILLE, OHIO — Keith McIlroy was born on March 9, 1944, in Steubenville, Ohio. He lived in Holiday’s Cove, W.Va., and moved to Elyria, Ohio, in 1947. He moved to Oberlin in 1953, graduating from Oberlin High School in 1962. He was a good student, playing baseball and ice hockey through graduation. Upon graduation, Keith went to Oberlin College for two years. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Ohio State University in 1969. Before graduation, he worked for the Franklin County engineers for two years as a surveyor and map researcher.
Keith worked for Ohio Bell starting in 1970, eventually retiring from AT&T in 2002. He spent his career as a programmer, eventually leading the group that applied the rates and issued the bills. Keith maintained a lifelong interest in history, supporting the Ohio Historical Society. He read extensively about World War II and American history, focusing on western expansion, presidents, civil rights and rock n’ roll.
Keith enjoyed clearing the woods away from behind his house, a project he started when he was in high school. He also liked using chain saws, riding mowers and snowblowers. When he had two children in college, he had a small lawn mowing business on the east side of Cleveland.
Keith is survived by Janet (Clark) whom he married in 1965. Their two daughters, Ann (married to Vern Kennedy) and Amy (married to Phil Watson); sister, Maida (Eric Wedell); brother-in-law, Robert Clark; and five grandchildren also survive.
Keith’s major passion was his family, both taking care of and enjoying time with them. Even toward the end of his life, he responded to them, enjoying tales of their adventures.
His decline started in 2000. His diagnosis of dementia in 2003 was clear. Eventually Keith and Janet moved in with their daughter Ann, husband Vern, and their two boys in an effort to keep him at home with his family. He moved into the Mayfair Nursing Center in 2013 when he needed more care than the family could provide. He died on July 19, 2015.
In order to thank the staff at Mayfair and to acknowledge their loving care, Keith’s memorial will be held at Mayfair Nursing Center, 3000 Bethel Rd., Columbus, between 2 and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015.
Keith asked that his brain be donated for research purposes to The Ohio State Foundation where he was treated throughout his illness. Anyone wishing to make a donation may do so by sending it to the OSU Foundation, 1480 West Lane Ave., Columbus, OH 43221, fund number 302185.