Monday, January 24, 2011

In Loving Memory of Keith Kishbauch

Keith Kishbauch, 86, passed away on January 22, 2011, of osteosarcoma bone cancer. Doctors knew it was an unusual diagnosis for a man of his age; they told him in January of 2010 that he could no longer play golf, and to make the best of the six months he had left. He more than doubled his odds.

He had a full life. Early years were spent in Pennsylvania with his brother and sisters, Dave, Margaret, and Shirley. During World War II, Keith served in the Pacific with the 153rd Engineer Combat Battalion. He returned to graduate from the University of Maryland and to start a family with Jane. They had two beautiful girls, Kathy and Jan. He became a high school teacher and coach of basketball, gymnastics and baseball at Jefferson Junior High and Francis C. Hammond High School, and was the first athletic director at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. The family also had many wonderful years at his camps, Winwah and Buckhorn in Winchester, Virginia. Circumstances brought him to a new beginning in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, close to the Chesapeake Bay with Ginny and two more wonderful girls, Lisa and Stacey. He continued to coach football at Great Mills and Chopticon High School. One winter when the temperature hit 0 degrees, Keith and Ginny decided that the back country of California’s east San Diego County would provide the family year-round comfort. He raised hunting dogs and pheasants, taught boys at the juvenile honor camps and county court schools in Warner Springs, and later helped in the wood shop class at Elsinore High School. Keith coached again – football and girls’ basketball and softball – at Borrego Springs High School. When he retired, he hit the links and focused on Charger football. For the next 20 years he developed great friendships at Sun City’s Cherry Hills Golf Course. San Diego Charger home games were the highlight of the fall/winter season.

Though Keith could not play golf and was not able to attend Charger games in 2010, he concentrated on a new game – make every day count. He focused on family, staying active, finding purpose in every minute, and considering what it would take to reach each goal, including attending a family reunion in South Carolina with every one of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was back to coaching with an enormous cheering section from all over the country, extending his “season” an additional six months.

Keith leaves his family, three siblings, four daughters, seven grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, and his hundreds of players, all of whom became his biggest fans and cheering section during this last game in life. The support and encouragement gave him many “overtimes.”

A celebration of his life will be held on February 19th in Wildomar, California, where he lived with his wife Ginny of 42 years, and in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, on April 3rd, where he spent most of his summers. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be sent in his name to Hospice of the Valleys in Murrieta, California (