Sunday, June 29, 2008

Reverend Dale Keith

Rev. Dale Wayne Keith, pastor and missionary, passed away June 28 at his home in Sun City.

Born March 14, 1943, Rev. Keith was the second of five children born to Gollie and Maudie Keith of Tiptonville, Tennessee. Two of his siblings, Ted and Nellie, preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife, Mildred; his children, Gene, Becca, and Cliff; his siblings, Dennis and Betty; many nieces and nephews; and nine grandchildren.

He was working as a journeyman machinist at Magma Copper in San Manuel in 1976, when he was called to the Gospel ministry. He went on to serve as pastor or associate at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Benton, Arkansas; First Southern Baptist in Mammoth, Arizona; First Southern Baptist of Phoenix; First Baptist Church of Apache Junction; and First Baptist Church of Sun City, where he was serving at the time of his death. He also ministered the love of God faithfully on mission fields all over the world.

Shortly before his death, he looked up and said, “Let it be recorded: Dale Keith finished strong.” The record – both here and in the hearts of the many thousands blessed by his selfless service of Jesus Christ – shows exactly that.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, July 5, at 10:30 AM at:

First Baptist Church of Sun City
11019 W. Peoria Ave.
Sun City, AZ 85351

Saturday, June 28, 2008

"You are my Sunshine"

"Let it be recorded: Dale Keith finished strong" Dad said this to us just a few days ago.

Dale Keith has gone to be with the Lord on this day, June 28th.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday June 27, 2008

Dale slept peacefully much of today (in between resting spells).

He has often told stories of beautiful vistas he has imagined and been surprised to see come to life in faraway places like Australia and Scotland; some as close as the valley and mountains where he grew up.

He has travelled far these past few days to revisit favorite and familiar places. I think he may be traveling even further and seeing more beautiful places than we can ever imagine.

God has some surprises for him yet!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday, June 26th

The medications are keeping Dale just near the surface of consciousness and are beginning to make some adjustments in his time schedule. He was awake and talked with Mom for a couple of hours in the night and is sleeping and waking in irregular patterns right now.

Fortunately, he hasn't had to increase the pain medications in the past few days, and he has been much more comfortable and has not complained of pain at all for the past couple days. He is continuing to grow weaker and was not able to come out of the bed today. He becomes very dizzy and disoriented just sitting up for a short time.

Today while Dad was resting in bed he said to me and Mom, "God can give us miracles. The way to get a miracle is to ask God."
"That's right!" we both agreed.
"So why don't you go ahead and ask? " he said.
So we did. We all held and hands and Mom prayed and acknowledged that only God has the power to give us a miracle, and acknowledged that God has a plan for Dale, as he does for all of us.
God's will be done!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday, June 25th

Dale had a restful day, he spent most of today in bed and came out for about half an hour. When he was up he was still doing quite a bit of mental "work" and revisiting a lot of places he's been and friends he's met over the years.

He sat up for a while and had a little something to eat. It speaks volumes for his dedication to Millie; even when he is feeling tired or worn down, he would do anything for her. Anything that she asks of him, he does without hesitation, as always.

We read all your emails and cards (including the blog comments) to Dale today. Your words, thoughts and prayers lift us all and bouy us through this time. Dale smiles when names are mentioned and we know the rememberances are racing through his mind.

This photo is from last Wednesday

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday, June 24th

Dale had the most restful night since he's been home from the hospital. He woke up ready to go make a sandwich and go to work. But when he tried to get up he got very sick and had a lot of nausea, and that took his energy away.

After his scheduled meds he slept most of the day. His spirit is strong while his body is weaker. Today he asked us if we had made our decision. I asked him if he had made a decision and he said, "I made my decision a long time ago! Heaven!"

It's hard to describe in words, but Dad spent a lot of time today "working". He was busy in his mind today, working like he has always done.

Chopping firewood in Colorado ( late 70's)

Monday, June 23, 2008

God is good!

Dale had a pretty peaceful day today. He did rest more and seemed to be more himself. He came into the livingroom this evening to hear us read to him the cards, e-mails and messages that have been coming in. He even gave us a story or two tonight.

He had a difficult last couple of days with some confusion possibly caused by the pain medication but he is expressing his feelings pretty well tonight. He said for us to tell you all that he loves you all so much. He also said to tell you that he is praying for you all, and I believe it! He seems to be praising God and praying often.

So many people are calling or e-mailing asking what can they do. I believe the most powerful thing anyone can do right now is PRAY. Thank you all for your prayers, it is a great source of strength for our family. Please continue to lift us up to the Lord. We need calm in the midst of our storm and we need strength to carry on through this journey. Jesus has the power to calm the storms and we know that He is our strength. Thank you again for your continuous prayers.

The Dale Keith Family

This picture was taken in 1976

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday, June 22nd

This has probably been the longest Dad has gone in his life without attending Sunday Services. It has been three Sundays now. Becca read Dad a Sunday School lesson this morning.

He has been struggling with trying to communicate with us, today. This has been the tradeoff for keeping the pain under control, and the side effect he is experiencing is confusion and frustration. He has moments of clarity, though, when he'll speak to us and he has not stopped praising God. Not for a moment.

He woke Mom up last night and wanted to pray. He thanked God for saving his soul in Vacation Bible School when he was young.

This has been a long and emotional day but we are all grateful we could spend it with Dad, and we are all keeping our focus on the Lord.

Just a little note about the map on the side bar. If you click on it, you will see all of the locations people are viewing Dad's Blog. Lots of people around this world love him and are praying for him, just like we are!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday, June 21

Today Dad's body continued to try to adjust to the new dosage of pain medications. Although it is mostly helping to keep the pain away, he is sleeping more.

Over the past couple of days when awake, he made mention of specific names of people he knows. We asked him about the people he mentioned and he said "they are praying for me." Then he smiled... The most amazing thing happened. Yesterday & again today he just mentioned the names of dear friends and within hours they were calling to check on Dad. God is working through His people in a way that we may not understand, but we have the opportunity to see a glimpse of His Almighty Power working through Believers.

Today Dad's dear friend Don Browning came to sing for him. Dad sang along with a strong voice and more energy than he had all day. Thanks Kim & Chris for the 'song' request. That was an amazing thing to see!

This is a picture taken in November 2007 of Dad with Gene & Cliff on one of their weekend hikes.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday, June 20th

Today Dad spent most of the day adjusting to the new dose of pain medication and mostly was asleep. He was awake for about four hours this afternoon and had one couple visit at that time and was very strong and comforted by them.

Today is the first day he truly seems to have comfort though, this is a difficult journey. He is raising his hands in the air and praising God. He is nearly there. It is difficult for my family, but my dad seems at peace today.

We found some pictures that are from at least one (or maybe two) of his Mission trips and wanted to share them.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday, June 19th

Dad at the petroglyphs near Apache Junction.

Today Dale had a rough morning, more pain and felt rather sick. He now has a higher dose of the pain meds.

He had a visit today from his Deacons and his wonderful Secretary from First Baptist, Sun City and couple other good friends came by and brought him some cards and gifts.

We've read Dale the cards that arrived today, the emails, the message board, and have shared the messages from phone calls. He holds the cards and tells us that he loves you all so much for just being such special people and he wishes he could hug each one of you. He didn't go into stories today, but he tells us he knows each person that sent a message and who their children or parents and friends are.

Just a couple of months ago:

The Keith Clan, (Family Reunion) in April, 2008, Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday, June 18th

Today Dale had a pretty good morning. He rested better last night, but did have more pain today than yesterday. So glad the pain meds are working when he needs them!!!

The Men Walking Forward group from First Baptist Church Sun City meets every Wednesday. Today after their meeting they planned a brief visit to pray with and for Dale.

Dale got dressed and met them in the living room. What a blessing they were, just when a blessing was needed.

Dale also had two more brief visits today. He sure loves God's people, it is such a shame that he isn't feeling like longer visits.

Dale & Millie are spending every moment together and their children are making every attempt to be with them as much as possible. We are just so fortunate that God has provided us with such an amazing family. Blessings Abound!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday, June 17

Today we added a Message Board so everyone can leave a message for Dale and his family, we will, as always, read the messages, cards, letters and emails to Dad each day.

Dale is struggling with the strong pain medications, and is frustrated with how it affects his mind. It's a blessing that he has the pain medications, though. He has never even liked taking aspirin or Tylenol for a headache. But he is very aware of what is happening to him and that we are with him and loves hearing your messages and telling us stories about each of you that have sent your support or stopped by.

He had a few visitors today, and we have plenty of cake! Thank you so much!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Some history

Dale had a long day today. He had a few visitors today, but not too many, thank you so much for stopping by and bringing some food and the bed pillow. We all appreciate your love and generosity.

Just some history:

I know that most of you were already aware that Dale had prostrate cancer, diagnosed a little over a year ago. It was such a shock to us all back then. He had to cancel a trip he was looking forward to at the time, to go on a mission trip to help some of the folks in New Orleans. Instead he was rushed into a lot of different clinics for tests and they found the cancer was very aggressive and was in 14 different parts of his body, organs and bones. Dale saw a few different doctors and considered a few different treatments with them. By the time he received the referral to the Mayo Clinic and came under their care, his diagnosis was Stage 4 metastasized cancer. He took an IV treatment for bone strengthener which really knocked his energy out at first. When he moved to the Mayo, they changed the way he was receiving it and his energy began to come back. He also was taking pills and then Millie and he decided to change to a very healthy diet consisting almost exclusively of live vegetables and fruits. "Anything that doesn't have a face" he would often explain.

Dale and Millie both began to feel the benefits of the healthy diet. They both got a lot more energy and even lost a couple of pounds. Dale had a great year left as he was preparing for this cancer to come back even then. He made a great many visits in this past year and attended family reunions and traveled a little bit to see friends and has been very grateful for this past year. He has been telling us that this past year has been a great gift.

His doctors have been very open with him about his cancer and how it works and he has known for some time that some day this will come back and it will be aggressive and non-responsive to treatments.

He continued working at First Baptist Church, Sun City until he went to the ER on June 8th.

He, as always, has a garden and we are bringing in fresh fruits and vegetables from it. Dale's gardens are another story for another time. He has a green thumb and has been growing life out of the desert ground for many years.

Dale's health is changing at a rapid pace but he continues to encourage us, show us his love and is living each day "one day at a time".

PSALM 31:24 -
"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Dad has all three kids around him today and he came out for lunch and ate Mary's home made Mexican food. He loved every bite and says a BIG thank you to Mary! You are so appreciated! Some of his grandchildren were able to be with him today, as well, as we celebrated Father's day together.

He's pretty tired today, though. He had a rough night, and was up for awhile late in the night. Fortunately, Becca has been able to stay with Mom and Dad, coming from Alaska, where she had only just moved a few days before all this began to happen, and she has been such a great comfort for Mom and Dad and all of us. Cliff lives 20 minutes away and has been here as often and as long as possible each day. Gene has come all the way from East Chandler, also as often as possible, and was a great comfort, staying overnight with Dad in the hospital.

Please continue to pray for Dale and Millie and as Dad asks, Please be faithful to the Lord and encourage each other to be faithful to the Lord.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Dad came home Thursday night and we are all overwhelmed with so much going on. Dad is really tired and has only enough energy for a few short visits from family members. Thank you all who have come by and shared your love.

Dad is resting comfortably, most of the time, and we are by his side every moment.

Dad has recieved a number of cards and letters from well wishers and has read them all and is grateful for all your love and prayers.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Dale Keith

Dale Wayne Keith

Please checkback for updates.

Dale's prostrate cancer came back. The doctors said that if and when it comes back, it would do so aggressively and not respond well to treatments. They were right. He's entering the Pain Management phase of his medical treatment, and his earthly life is in God's hands.

Dale will be coming home from the hospital soon, under home hospice care, and is surrounded by family, his loving wife and all three of his children are here with him.

Please checkback for updates.