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Keith Aldrich 02/26/2011
Clinton Keith Aldrich was born on January 22, 1935, in Kearney, Nebraska. He was raised in Knoxville, Iowa where he lived with his mother Aimee Foidel Aldrich Morrow, stepfather (Bob Morrow) and grandmother.

Keith grew up in the Knoxville area, went through the Knoxville Public School system and graduated from Knoxville High School with the Class of 1953.

The following eighteen months were spent at Central College in Pella, Iowa, where he met his future wife, Marilyn. Also during that time, Keith and Marilyn started the Town Crier, in the summer kitchen at the home of Marilyn’s parents, Roy and Wilma Andeweg.

Initially the publication was a shoestring venture, but with hard work and luck the paper survived and thrived. Now today, 56 years later, the Town Crier Ltd. with a staff of 45, provides a local shopper to 12,600 households and provides a full range of professional graphic and web design, advertising, commercial printing and mailing services. Keith was a community leader active in promoting Pella’s growth as a local businessman.

Keith married Marilyn Ruth Andeweg on June 29, 1956, and fulfilled his military obligation by serving in the Iowa Air National Guard. To this union three children were born: Mark? David, Kathy Jo, and Mary Beth.

In 1960, Keith and Marilyn built their home on Northwest Drive. There, friends and family enjoyed the hospitality provided and many fond memories were initiated throughout the years. In 1968, Keith, with the help of good friends, built a swimming pool in the backyard. He often remarked that the pool was the best investment he ever made, as it soon became a gathering place for their children and friends and now their grandchildren. He made it a mission to create a welcoming space for all, and his focus was on fun.

He spent summers adding things that still bring smiles and memories to many. These creations and additions included sack swings, elaborate tree houses, go karts, and hand made stilts. One summer was dedicated to the building of his own “Noah’s Ark,” a houseboat created according to his own specifications, on his home’s driveway. Docked at Lake Red Rock, this boat was the locale of in-numerous happy gatherings of people not only from Iowa, but also from all over the world.

Keith enjoyed working with his hands. Whether it be hammering and sawing in his shop or digging in the yard, he was at his best during those times. His wooded acre in north Pella was filled with color and living things.

Keith was never done improving, and over the past decade, even as his health was deteriorating, he continued to make his home even more of a gathering place. He made it a family affair. Never a task-master, but rather a teacher, he encouraged his grandchildren and children to help him create the oasis that brought smiles and relaxation to so many in his outdoor playground.

Keith and Marilyn enjoyed traveling. Hawaii was a favorite destination, as was Europe and several cruises with good friends worldwide the last few years.

Good memories were made at their condo at the Lake of the Ozarks, boating and riding the wave runners, which topped the list for the grandchildren. Funny stories keep popping up now of the fun antics he enjoyed with each grandchild, teaching them to drive, speeding along on the wave runners, water-skiing, etc. Many of these ended with his words of wisdom, “Don’t tell your mother or grandmother,” accompanied by twinkling eyes and a smile.

Keith and Marilyn began wintering in Florida many years ago, and annual “Spring Break” trips by the whole family became a tradition. Because of their efforts, his children and their children will always have fond recollections of time spent together.

A lasting memory and a request by Keith was to spend Christmas 2010 in Florida with the whole family. Crab hunting on the beach at night and eating at the Tiki Bar by the pool on Christmas day were highlights of the trip, and having the family together there during what he knew would be his last Christmas was treasured.

On Saturday morning February 26, 2011, at the age of 76 years he passed away at his home surrounded by the love of his wife, children and all of his grandchildren.

Preceding Keith in death were his mother, Aimee Foidel Aldrich Morrow, his stepfather, Robert Marsh Morrow, his sister, Christine Pendleton, brothers-in-law: Bob Pendleton and Bud Mathers, and his parents-in-law, Roy and Wilma Van Gorp Andeweg.

Left to lovingly remember Keith are his wife, Marilyn; his son, Mark Aldrich and his wife, Lei Zhang and their two boys: Chet and Travis of Pella; his daughter, Kathy and her husband, Doug Kooyman and their children: Klint, Konner, Chase, Ciera and Mariah of Pella; his daughter, Beth and her husband, Marty Van Zee and their three girls: Kali, Hannah and Sophie of Des Moines, Iowa; his sister, Kay Mathers of Apple Valley, California; and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Logan and Jen Andeweg of Pella.

Keith found being a grandfather was a wonderful thing and was often heard to say that he didn’t know what love really was until the grandkids came along. His family, friends, and even employees will cherish his memory, and will forever keep him alive in their minds and hearts.

A Celebration of Life Service was held March 4, at the Second Reformed Church in Pella Memorials may be designated for Hospice of Pella, the Pella Public Library or Second Reformed Church in Pella. Van Dyk- Duven Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Published on March 11, 2011