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 (


  1. Our condolences to Stacey and the whole family. So sorry to hear of your dads passing. It sounds like he made the most of his last year with you all. Our love and prayers are with you all. Love, Paul & Deborah Laymon

  2. Beautifully done! My Dad would not be the person he is today without having known "Coach". I am forever grateful and indebted. My love to all!!

  3. From all of "The Admirals" at Francis C. Hammond High School, Alexandria, Va. We will miss you Coach. Thank you for guiding us and for remaining our friend thoughout the years.

  4. On behalf of the class of 1962, Francis C. Hammond High School. Our condolences to the family of Keith. He was truly a great inspration to all of us. I had the pleasure of knowing his first wife Jane and daughters Kathy and Jan (when they were wee ones). God be with you all and hold you in His Love.

    Tommy Morris
    Chairman, Class of 1962

  5. Ginny, Lisa and Stacey,

    Doc told me today of Keith's passing - I'm sorry. Uncle Keith was such a good man. He was a nice uncle, father and husband. Would have been a nice farewell for Keith to have seen the Chargers go to the Superbowl! One day... and on that day, he will be hootin' and hollerin' up there with a huge gin on his face!

    Lots of love,
    Bob, Julie, Stephen, Will and Iain Griffith

  6. This was beautifully done. I am honored to have had "Kish" my friend for the past 19 years. We shared many great times golfing and fishing. He served as an example of what a man should be. Like my father he was a member of what is known to be "the greatest generation". I will miss him dearly.
    Mike T.

  7. I still remember driver ed with Mr. K.

    "When the gas burns the piston is driven out of the cylinder like a cannon ball from a cannon."

    Also, "Around here if you leave six car lengths between you and the next car (recommended at 60 mph), you'll find that six cars will move into the space."

    I didn't have him as a coach but enjoyed driver ed.

    Blessings and comfort to all!

  8. Keith was a joy in my sister's life and partnered in the upbringing of two very special daughters--Lisa and Stacey. He and Ginny were mutually supportive of each other, contributing to a strong marriage. May he rest in peace while those living on feel the generosity and kindness he leaves behind.
    Love always,

    Jan, Marie and Katherine

  9. Collected comments from Francis C. Hammond High School:

    This is very sad. Coach K was still handsome right up to the end. So many memories.

    Coach k. Played a big part in many of our formative years. My sister and I recall all the great times at Camp Buckhorn. May he rest in peace knowing all the good he did. He was a true part of my coming of age.

    I used to babysit for his kids as did my sister I also worked at his summer camp one year, and was on the tumbling team my first year (8th grade) at Hammond.  He certainly was an
    influence in my life.

    He was a great man. Thank you for this remembrance.

    This is such sad news. My most sincere sympathy to his wife Ginny, and all of his family.
    I was a camp counselor at his camp for several years. I loved him, he was a great guy

    He will be greatly missed by all of those that had the good fortune to know him

    my condolences to Ginny and Keith's family. He was a great man, a great friend, and will be missed by all

    I worked for Coach K in the P E office & also at Camp WinWah

    He was my gymnastic coach in 58 & 59 and I really appreciated his knowledge and help, prayers to his family

    It sounds like he left this world on his own terms, and that's a good thing.

    God bless and keep his family as we say goodbye to such a great man. What a hero for all of us

    He was a good person and a good teacher.

  10. Many years ago I was on staff with Kish at Rancho Del Campo High School, in Campo, Calif. Every day he drove the long distance between his home in Ranchita and Campo, never complaining at all. He truly enjoyed living in the country, in the wide open spaces. He was a very nice man, very pleasant man, a friendly man to everyone and a definite asset to our staff. From other comments it's apparent that he lived a very full and rich life and everyone should honor and appreciate that. What a wonderful person. Now he's at peace with God, well deserved, Kish.

  11. These nice comments were posted on

    January 30, 2011
    Dear Mrs. Kishbauch: We are so sorry for the loss of your husband and best friend Keith. We will always treasure the memories we have of him, and we even have one of his Michelob Ultra's in our fridge that he left the last time you visited. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, and we will see you at the Memorial.
    Francisco & Leticia

    January 28, 2011
    I remember Mr.Kishbauch from the eighth grade at Jefferson.
    This was the first year for Jefferson as the eight grade school.
    Mr Kischbauch was a very good teacher and always available
    to advise me.
    I wondered what ever happened to him and I am so glad that he lived a wonderful productive life.
    I always thought he would be an inspiration to a lot of young people
    Mickey Simpson
    Alexandria, VA
    ~ Mickey Simpson, Alexandria, Virginia

    January 27, 2011

    January 26, 2011
    Dear Ginny, We are thinking of you and Keith at this time. We will see you at the memorial. Our most sincere condolences and much love,
    Bob and Donna Hugh

  12. Coach K was my PE instructor at Jefferson Jr High (8th Grade), before we both ended up at Hammond. He taught a class in the infamously cramped "Team Room" there, complete with an angled floor, as I recall (something was wrong with it, anyway...). What I remember most was his positive attitude, which had to have rubbed off on his many students.

    A was a great role model for young people, and although he is no longer with us, that influence lingers, to this day.

    Currell Pattie

  13. Another quote found: "Dear Ginny,you two were a class act - always. There wasn't a time that I was around you guys that Keith didn't have a huge smile on his face and I received a big, warm bear hug. He had such a way of..." - Diane Guillen

  14. Ginni,
    My wife and I were at classmates home Thursday evening when I learned of Keith's passing. I remember Keith when I was at Hammond and always admired him. My heart and prayers go to you and your family at this difficult time.
    David Guthridge
    ~ David Guthridge, Stafford, Virginia

  15. My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
    Bob Siebel,
    Hurricane, West Virginia

  16. My name is Melissa. I'm a cousin from Pennsylvania. Please email me at

  17. Years have passed, and I still think of Coach K. You are very fortunate to run into one of these amazing people once, maybe at best twice, in a lifetime...
    Rob Hope

  18. A GREAT Man...Coach, you prepared me for this. Every time I have been slapped and kicked down,I managed to get back up and get back in the game. Every time adversity tried to stomp me and stop me I managed to get back up, and push through. Every time I have been driven to my knees, I have found the power get up and continue the fight. You showed me by example, the man I should be, the person, the citizen, the father, husband and friend I should be.I would not today be who I am, had it not been for you. It was a great honor to have known you Coach.