Keith Smeltzer, 56, of Freeland, Wash., and formerly of Canal Winchester (Columbus), Ohio, passed away in his home on March 27, 2019.
Keith was born Nov 6, 1962 in Toledo, Ohio, and grew up in Reno Beach on Lake Erie. He attended Clay Senior High School and graduated in 1981. Keith attended the University of Toledo to study music performance until 1984 when he transferred to Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, to study music education.
In 1987, Keith obtained a bachelor of arts degree from Otterbein. In 1988, Keith started teaching general music and choir in the Columbus public schools and gave private piano lessons. While teaching, he also attended graduate school at the Ohio State University in Columbus, where he received his master’s degree in music in 1996.
Keith continued to teach in Columbus until 2004, when he moved to Whidbey Island to teach music in the Mukilteo School District.
In 2005, Keith continued his education at Seattle Pacific University to receive his certification for English as a Second Language in 2015.
He was a well-respected educator by his peers and loved by his students.
Besides Keith’s desire to learn, he was a fabulous singer, musician and composer who published and recorded his music. When he wasn’t composing or teaching, you would find him in nature. He lived to travel the world and enjoyed camping, hiking, kayaking, cross country skiing either by himself or with friends and his dog. You can see his love for nature in the breath-taking photographs he took from all his adventures.
Keith was preceded in death by his parents, William and Mary Smeltzer. Survivors include his partner, Tom Wetzel, of Freeland; his brothers, William Smeltzer II (Linda), of Poynette, Wisc., Chris Smeltzer (Karen), of Curtice, Ohio, and Steve Smeltzer, of Bowling Green, Ohio; his nieces, Briana Smeltzer, of Northwood, Ohio, Tricia Smeltzer, of Toledo, Ohio, and Andrea Archibald, of Poynette, Wisc.; his nephew, Shawn Smeltzer, of Columbus, Wisc.; and numerous aunts and uncles.
Anyone who knew Keith, knew him as a generous person, willing to help anyone in need. He was a great inspiration and his charismatic smile will be missed by all.
A Celebration of Life is at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 4, on Whidbey Island, at Greenbank Farm, 765 Wonn Road, Greenbank, WA 98253.
Wallin Funeral Home on Whidbey Island was in charge of his cremation. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the “Keith Smeltzer Scholarship” at Keybank.