David Bruce Keir, 75, passed away at his home on Dec. 7, 2012, surrounded by his loving family. He was born Nov. 6, 1937, to Paul and Nellie Woodin Keir in Hood River, Ore.
David grew up in Hood River. In his early years, he helped in the family business, Keir’s Drugs, which was started by his grandfather in 1905 in the Keir building in downtown Hood River. He left Hood River for high school at Lakeside School in Seattle, Wash.
He attended college at Lewis and Clark College and Colorado School of Mines before enrolling at Oregon State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in 1962 with degrees in agricultural economics and horticulture. He met his wife, Barbara, when she was teaching at Pine Grove Elementary in 1965. They were married in Gresham, Ore., in 1966.
David worked in agriculture in both Oregon and Washington. He was an OSU Extension Agent for 10 years in Coquille and Medford. After that, he was employed by Cascade Farm Service in Tangent, Ore., Occidental Chemical in Yakima, Wash., and Harry & David in Medford, Ore.
He finally returned to his beloved Hood River Valley in 1979, taking a job as a field man for Underwood Fruit in Bingen, Wash. He retired from Underwood in 2000 following a successful career working with orchardists throughout the Gorge and as far away as John Day, Ore.
He remained active in his retirement by working for Del Monte Foods. He also taught the Master Gardener program for the OSU Extension Service in the Gorge area following his retirement.
David had many interests that spanned horticulture, entomology, history, health, business and geology. He was well known for his extensive library and deep knowledge on many topics. Sports were also near and dear to him.
Favorite teams included the Pittsburg Steelers and Pirates, the Boston Red Sox, Portland Trail Blazers, and, of course the OSU Beavers. He was a great source of strength, family history, perspective, humor, respect and grace to his family.
David loved the land and what it could provide for his family and friends. He especially loved the Keir family ranch in Pine Grove, where he grew up and where his gardens and orchards were prolific and a source of great pride. He enjoyed sharing his bounty with friends and family in the form of boxes of pears or tomatoes.
David is survived by his wife, Barbara, of Hood River; his son, Paul, of Portland; his daughter, Mary, of San Francisco; and his sister, Catherine, of Seattle.
A memorial service will be held in the spring in Pine Grove.
The family requests that remembrances in his name be made to Hospice of the Gorge or the Pine Grove Fire Department.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals, Receptions, Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031; 541-386-1000. Please visit www.andersonstributecenter.com to leave a note of condolence for family.
Condolences are being received online.
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