James “Donnie” Keith was born April 2, 1956, to James Edward and Lucille Keith. Donnie has a twin brother, “Ronnie,” and two sisters, Aline and Mary Jane. In 1974, Donnie married his childhood sweetheart, Pamela Gail Crisler. They had two sons, Larry Shannon and Jeremy Wayne Keith. Donnie and Pam were married 28 years when God called her home.
Donnie was employed at Video Industrial Services for 31 years. He was a superintendent who loved his job. The employees and management became his extended family. He forged some lifelong friendships with coworkers, and customers he met along the way. He never met a stranger and loved to laugh and make you laugh.
In December 2001, Donnie met Loretta Ferguson. Once more, love came into his life and hers. Donnie and Loretta were married February 14, 2003. They resided in Jasper, Alabama, with her young son, Caleb Waldrep, who came to love Donnie as a father. Donnie loved being a part of Loretta’s large family,
and she and her family loved Donnie’s sons, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren.
Donnie had many loves in his life, but being “Paw Paw” was at the top of the list. He had seven grandchildren whom he loved and they loved him. Donnie said God brought Loretta into his life, but truth be told, God brought these two families together with love and strength, knowing they would need these in days to come.
Through this family, he was introduced to volunteer firefighting and rescue. His love of helping people found a new avenue. Donnie joined the Mt. Zion Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department in 2003 and served as captain for 12 years. Chief Ferguson was not only his chief and brother-in-law, but also his best friend.
Donnie Keith led a full life. He was a larger than life personality that can never be replaced. His light will always shine bright, and his boisterous laughter will forever ring in the hearts and minds of those who love him.
God called Donnie home on June 4, 2015. The shirt one of his coworkers had made says it best—Donnie Keith- We lost a good man.
If Donnie were here, he would tell you none of those things listed above was his greatest accomplishment. His greatest accomplishment was accepting Jesus Christ as his Saviour. For he now awaits his loved ones in that land so bright and fair for that heavenly reunion where we will all , who have accepted Christ, be together again.
Donnie Keith, a life well lived, a man well loved.