Obituary: Keith F. Dunbar

Keith F. Dunbar, 83, of Meeker, passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer on Thursday, June 26, 2014, at the Walbridge Wing long-term care facility in Meeker.

Keith was born Dec. 3, 1930, in Waterloo, Iowa, the son of Kenneth and Lucille Dunbar. His father, Ken, was an employee of John Deere and a semi-pro hockey player. Keith’s mother, Lucille was a housewife and worked part-time as a musician.
Keith moved to Meeker with his parents in September 1941, and began school in the fifth grade. His parents bought a ranch on the Government Road in the fall of 1943. He was graduated from grade school in 1945 and went on to Rio Blanco County High School that fall. Keith was a stellar football player and track star in high school. He was graduated from Rio Blanco County High School in May 1949. Keith then worked the summer of 1949 at the Rio Blanco Ranch on the upper White River.
In the fall of 1949, Keith was awarded a football scholarship to attend Colorado A&M (Colorado State University). He enlisted in the United States Air Force on March 8, 1951. He served as tech order and record keeper for an air crash inspection crew.
Keith played on the base football team and was named to the All-Southwest Service team. He would later receive a letter and bus ticket to Chicago from George Halas of the Chicago Bears for a walk-on tryout.
Keith was accepted into the Aviation Cadet Class 53 Baker. He was proud of the fact that he had 51 hours in a P-51 Mustang. Keith was unable to complete his air cadet training due to health problems and was honorably discharged in October 1952.
Keith returned to Meeker and married Sue LeFevre on June 5, 1953. He worked as a truck driver for approximately three years and then went to work in the U.S. Post Office and also the Rio Theater. Keith and Sue then moved to Ignacio, Colo., in March 1951, to operate the Buckskin Drive-In Theater and raise registered half-Arabian and Appaloosa horses. To this union two sons were born, Dale and Darwin.
Keith moved his family back to Meeker in 1964. He was elected Rio Blanco County judge in November 1964 and took office on Jan. 10, 1965. He served the people of Rio Blanco County for six terms or 24 years. During this time, he handled approximately 20,000 cases including misdemeanors, traffic violations, game and fish, felony preliminary hearings, arraignments, bond settings and civil cases. He retired from the bench on Jan. 12, 1989. He continued working with real estate until 1993.
Keith was an avid fisherman, hunter and golfer. He was a faithful Broncos and Rockies fan and would attend high school and college football games each fall.
Keith is survived by: his wife of 61 years, Sue; one son, Dale and his wife Jill of Meeker; two grandsons, Kevin (Heather) of Cedaredge, Colo., and Kurtis (Amanda) of Brea, Calif.; a great-grandson, Jackson of Cedaredge and his sister, Diane McKee; along with several nieces, nephews and cousins. Keith was preceded in death by: his parents; one sister, Kay; and a son, Darwin.
Services are set for 11 a.m. on July 22, 2014, at the Methodist Church in Meeker, with a memorial barbecue and honor guard in Meeker City Park following the service.