Keith Richard Talmadge was born on May 12th, 1947, in Newark, New Jersey, to Richard and Winona Talmadge. He was the middle of three children – older brother Doug and younger sister Nancy.
During his teenage years, he was active in his local United Methodist Church and held leadership positions in the UMYF. He attended the March on Washington and heard Martin Luther King, Jr. speak as part of his youth group.
After high school, he attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, on full scholarship, where he studied history and military science. After graduation, he entered the Navy.
While stationed in Long Beach, California, he met his future wife Clara Austin at a USO dance. Their romance moved quickly because they both believed he would be sent to Vietnam imminently. After they married, they enjoyed time together living in Monterey, California, where Keith was attending language school to learn Vietnamese.
He then deployed to Vietnam where he was stationed briefly in Saigon as a translator, and then spent time in the Brown Water Navy near Moc Hoa. Keith told stories of being on minesweepers, traveling around Japan, and navigating a large ship out at sea. He reached the rank of Lieutenant before completing his service in 1972.
Also in 1972, he and Clara welcomed their first child, Brian. Both Keith and Clara worked while Keith attended law school at Loyola. They shared child care duties and neither slept much. In 1975, their second child Carolyn arrived.
After completing law school, Keith and the family moved from City of Orange, California, to Yucaipa, California, where Keith took a job in a law firm. Later he went on to co-found the law firm Egger and Talmadge, which had an office in San Diego.
Keith and Clara soon settled in San Diego. This move brought them into a new season of life. Together they bought a small motorhome and traveled across much of the west coast. They got a Miniature Schnauzer, “Pippi”, and they both worked to update their San Diego home.
In 2000, Keith suffered his second heart attack and had a quintuple by-pass. Soon after this event he retired.
This led to a new chapter in his life that was filed with hobbies and happiness. Keith built PC’s, reluctantly became a Mac user, was an early adopter of Amazon Prime (and used it without hesitation), and pursued various hobbies that he was able to research deeply on line.
Keith built and flew drones, worked on small boats to sail in his pool, and explored new ways to cook healthy foods. He was also a staple in the neighborhood, walking four miles a day to make sure his heart was staying as healthy as possible.
In the ensuing years, his daughter Carolyn married, his son Brian moved to San Diego to be near his parents, and two grandchildren were born, Clara and Isaiah. Keith was a wonderful husband, father and grandad. His family could always find him in his special upstairs office affectionately called the “Hawk’s Nest.”
Keith shared his values with his family. He spoke about living with integrity and honor, and he valued honesty and hard work. He lived these values, often putting his family’s needs ahead of his own. He was deeply loved and will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his wife Clara, to whom he was married for 48 years, his son Brian, his daughter Carolyn and her spouse Lisa, and his grandchildren Clara and Isaiah.