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Kent Keeth
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Obituary for Kent Keeth

Kent Keeth, 79, passed away on December 29, 2017. A graveside service will be held 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 27, at Oakwood Cemetery with Pastor Jimmy Dorrell officiating.

Kent was born to Lonnie and Hazel Keeth on August 25, 1938, in Marshall, Texas. He attended Baylor University and graduated in 1960 with a B.A. in history, with minors in English, Spanish, philosophy and economics. He earned an M.A. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1961 and a master’s degree in library science from the University of California-Berkeley the following year.

Kent was a life-long learner and avid reader with a history of civic and professional accomplishments. He was a member of the Peace Corps, spoke fluent German and established a library at the Malaysian Teachers College in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. From 1965 to 1968, he worked for the Legislative Reference Service of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and then served as archivist for the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center at the University of Texas in Austin. In 1973 Kent returned to Baylor University to serve as director of the Texas Collection until he retired in 2003. During his time at Baylor, Kent authored a book titled, Looking Back at Baylor, which is a collection of stories from the early days of the University.

Kent was married to Lucy Lee Keeth, who was also a librarian and served multiple universities including Baylor University. Kent and Lucy were involved in the community and instrumental in the founding of the Sanger Heights Neighborhood Association, which remained near and dear to Kent throughout his years. Kent also represented Sanger Heights as a Neighborworks Waco board member where he helped the organization adopt and reconstruct the Gildersleeve homes with historical accuracy. Kent enjoyed serving as a member of the Waco Plan Commission and was active in various historical societies. In addition to Neighborworks Waco, he supported many local organizations, including Fuzzy Friends Rescue, Waco Friends of the Library, the YMCA of Central Texas, Mission Waco and the Texas Collection, to name a few. Kent believed that being involved in civic and charitable activities was part of being a good citizen, and he always encouraged others to do the same.

Kent is preceded in death by his wife, Lucy Keeth; and his parents, Lonnie and Hazel Keeth.

Kent’s legacy of community vision and charitable giving will continue to benefit the Waco community for years to come.

The family invites you to leave a message or memory in our “Tribute Wall” at

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Kent Keeth, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





10:00 AM
Oakwood Cemetery

2124 S. 5th St.
Waco, TX 76706

Cemetery Details


Oakwood Cemetery

2124 S. 5th St.
Waco, TX 76706


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