Keith M. Lysen, age 97, born in Minneapolis, 1924, died in Olympia, WA, February 9th, 2022.
Keith was predeceased by his wife, Irene, in 2008. He was also predeceased by brother, Lowell Bruce, and parents, William Eddy and Grace Louise of Minnesota.
Keith was schooled in Minneapolis at Roosevelt HS, and U of M, where he was in the ROTC and served in WWII at D-Day, +4 Normandy Invasion, and Battle of the Bulge. He was called up for Korea, but contracted TB and spent the next two years in Glen Lake Sanitorium. Keith never wanted to stay in one job too long after seeing how miserable his dad was in a 30 year career. Keith worked for the Army Corps of Engineers, Reserve Mining in Silver Bay, and Red Owl Stores before moving to Hawaii, June, 1965. Keith designed and built what was likely the first solar house in Minnesota in 1958 at Covington Hills, MN.
Camping was a big part of the Lysen summers in Minnesota. In 1960, he started the NCHA (National Campers and Hikers Association) with Don Urban and Dale Fisher. They did camping shows which became very popular later. In 1962 the Lysen’s took a road trip out to the Seattle World’s Fair.
After a vacation to Hawaii in January 1964, Keith decided to thaw out his brain and moved the family to Honolulu. Keith joined Hawaii Yacht Club and bought his first sailboat, a Santana 22 named Gadfly, winter 1966. His next boat was a Ranger 26 named A’Ilina. In 1974 he bought a Cal 2-46 also named A’Ilina (Hawaiian for Irene) which Keith claims having taken over 8000 friends out on her every Sunday for 14 years. Keith worked at Versicrete Intl, Pacific Construction Co. and managed the Gold Bond building for many years before finishing with the State of Hawaii at Kamehaha School and Lanai Airport.
Keith and Rene moved to the mainland in 1991 and lived a nomadic lifestyle until Rene’s stroke in 1996. Keith would visit Rene every day and held her hand until she passed in 2008.
Keith then started visiting the Vashon Senior Center to drink coffee, eat lunch and enjoy talking story with his friends. He was quick with a joke, and loved singing.
Keith never got rich financially, but said his real wealth came from meeting friends from around the world. He outlived most!
Please send remembrances to Vashon Senior Center PO Box 848 Vashon, WA 98070.
He is survived by three sons, nine grandkids, nine great-grandkids, and one great-great-granddaughter.