Everett Rice Keith, 84, of Memphis, Missouri died at his home on Saturday, April 19, 2008. He was born February 18, 1924 at La Grange, Missouri to Everett A. and Ethel Rice Keith.
Everett served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, entering active duty on August 22, 1941 and being separated from active duty on March 3, 1947. He served in the reserves following active duty until March 3, 1952.
He married Zelda Marie Fowler at the Baptist parsonage in Memphis, Missouri on January 30, 1951. To this union three children were born.
After returning from the service, Everett opened Keith’s Café in Memphis. In 1951 Everett and Zelda built the present restaurant on his mother’s garden space. They have been in the business for 59 years.
Everett was raised in the Baptist faith as his father was a Baptist minister. He was a member of the Memorial Post VFW # 4958 and the Memphis Masonic Lodge AF and AM #16. He was also a member of Scottish Rite of Freemasonry S.J. USA – Valley of Columbia Orient of Missouri, a member of the Moila Temple at St. Joseph, Missouri, and a member the Knights Templar Commandry in Kirksville, Missouri.
Everett enjoyed traveling, playing cards and collecting antiques. The ceiling of the Keith’s Café is covered with cups that have been collected through the years.
He is survived by his wife, Zelda, of 57 years; a daughter, Teresa Marie Keith and fiancé, Ron Boone, of Waukee, Iowa; two sons: Everett Rice Keith, Jr. and fiancée, Scarlett Hamilton, of Memphis, Missouri, and George Richard Keith and wife, Marla of Medina, Ohio; three grandchildren: Gregory Richard Keith and Morganna Keith, both of Medina, Ohio, and Nathan Caleb Spray and wife, Dena, of Naples, Florida. Also surviving is a brother, Orville Gardine and wife, Diane, of Rocky Mount, Missouri, and a sister, Ethel Elizabeth Pulliam and husband, Keith, of Corder, Missouri.
Everett was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, George Richard Keith who was killed at Pearl Harbor, and a brother in infancy.
Funeral services were held on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at Memphis Funeral Home with Pastor Jim Campbell and Pam Glasgow officiating. Music was rendered by Joe Fulk and Ann Luther.
Burial followed in the Greensburg Cemetery with full military honors accorded by the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post 4958 VFW.
Serving as casket bearers were Nathan Spray, Travis Mathews, Phil Harbur, Roger Lee Robinson, Jamie Parker and Mike Gelbach. Honorary casket bearers were Clark Mustoe, Paul Forrester, Phil Struble, Sam Crawford, Vernon Yoder and Dwight DeRosear.
As an expression of sympathy, memorials may be given to The Downing House, Memphis Masonic Lodge #16 or the Hannibal-La Grange College. Memorials may be left at or mailed to Memphis Funeral Home, 378 South Market Street, Memphis, Missouri 63555. Online condolences may be sent to mmphisfh@nemr.net.

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