Keith McKibben
Keith McKibben
Keith McKibben
Keith McKibben
Keith McKibben
Keith McKibben

Obituary of Keith McKibben

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Eldin Keith McKibben, a lifelong resident of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, at the age of 83 years. He was born in Dawson Creek on January 8, 1940 - the eldest child of Ruth (Fellers) and Clarence McKibben. 


Keith had a passion for nature and the outdoors, enjoying fly-fishing, hunting, horseback riding, skiing, and snowshoeing. He loved his horses and enjoyed training and hunting with them. In the winter he spent many hours tying flies. Later in life, he became more involved with woodworking, creating beautiful furniture from cedar. Keith avoided crowds, preferring to spend time with close friends and family. He was a man of great integrity, and a gifted storyteller, with a dry sense of humour, and a natural ability to entertain.


Throughout his life, Keith worked hard, often in difficult conditions. He didn't start school until the age of seven, as getting to the one-room schoolhouse required him to walk several miles on bush trails through the snow. His determination and strong work ethic continued throughout his working life. As a young man, he did farm work in the summer and worked at a sawmill in the winter - keeping the books on species and quantities of trees cut, as well as skidding logs with horses; a job for which he needed to be up early each morning in the bitter cold to feed and harness the animals.


In September of 1963, Keith heard about Cathy, a new schoolteacher, who was teaching at Devereaux School. He travelled to the teacherage and invited her to go to a dance two hours later. In her hometown of Victoria, Cathy would never have accepted a date on such short notice; however, Keith seemed like a nice young man, and he told her he was a cousin of Rena Lawrence, the woman who had taken Cathy under her wing.  So, with some hesitation, she agreed to go. This marked the beginning of many fun-filled years of dancing, and it was only 10 months later, on July 18th, 1964, that Keith and Cathy were married.


Keith continued to work hard throughout their marriage. When Cathy first met him, he was clearing brush with a bulldozer. This mystified Cathy's friends in Victoria who could not understand how anyone could clear land with a “Cat”! After being married, Keith took a welding course at NAIT, which led to many years of welding and fabricating at McCoy's. Later, Keith worked for the City of Dawson Creek, doing maintenance as a jack-of-all trades. In addition to plumbing, carpentry, welding, and electrical work, he maintained 85 furnaces. Over the years, many commented that he could build or fix almost anything.


As the years went by, Keith and Cathy raised their family of three children. Keith entertained the kids with his ability to mimic animal calls, identify animal tracks, and whittle whistles out of willow branches. They often camped, fished, and rode horses together as a family.


Keith was an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction and had a keen interest in learning about history and his family's origins in Scotland. A highlight was travelling to Scotland for his 25th wedding anniversary to learn more about his family roots.


With the encouragement of his wife, Keith retired with some reluctance at the age of 60. He was pleasantly surprised to discover that the next 20 years were some of the best of his life. He continued to enjoy the outdoors and engage in woodworking. He now had more time to read and bird watch. He and Cathy enjoyed their travels immensely. They journeyed to the Maritimes post-retirement and continued to travel yearly to places such as Alaska, the Yukon, and the Bella Coola area to camp and fish. These adventures provided wonderful memories and stories in the years to come.


As Keith's own father had passed away at the age of 40, when he was only seven, Keith feared that he might also die young. Recently, when he believed that his time with his family was drawing to a close, he told his children that his goal in life had always been to live until they were grown, and that he was content, as this had more than been accomplished.


Keith will be greatly missed by his wife Cathy; children Shaun (Stella) McKibben, Brent (Karen) McKibben, Laureen (Dale) Holloway; grandsons Aidan, Beckett, Daxton, Declan, and Spencer; siblings Carol (Charlie) Hamilton, Melvina (David) Lane, Gary Tenborg, Henrietta Sluggett, Dorothy Guest, and Alan Tenborg; and his in-laws, Maurine Hatch, Barbara (Val) Heckrodt and Elaine Hatch.


No formal service will be held at Keith's request. A private celebration of life will be held at a later date.


For friends so wishing, donations may be made in memory of Keith to “A Simple Leaf”, a program to support the care and comfort of patients at the Dawson Creek and District Hospital ( ). Any amount is appreciated and will be pooled to leave a “A Loving Legacy” leaf for Keith on the wall of the Cancer Unit.


Very Respectfully, Reynars Funeral Home and Crematorium

Services for Keith McKibben
There are no events scheduled. You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or planting a memorial tree in memory of Keith McKibben.
Visit the Tribute Store
Share Your Memory of