David R. Kehs

November 3, 1950July 21, 2019

On July 21, 2019, David R. Kehs passed away in a rafting accident in Utah. He was born on November 3, 1950 in Baltimore, MD; He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard Alan Kehs, Sr. and Jeannette Peters Kehs, and by a brother, Paul William Kehs; He is survived by his brothers, Richard Alan Kehs, Jr. and Glenn Joseph Kehs, nephew, Paul Christopher Kehs, niece, Laurel Kehs Lockhart, and grand-nephew, Jack Harrison Lockhart. David graduated from Cardinal Gibbons High School 1968, University of Maryland College Park B.S., Phi Beta Kappa 1972, and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill M.S., PhD in Computer Science 1978. After graduation, David taught computer science at North Carolina State University. He moved to Waltham, Massachusetts in 1980. He worked as a computer software engineer and a code verifier for a variety of firms in the Boston area. He was on the team that wrote the software language Ada. He joined Waltham Land Trust in 2001, served as the organization’s clerk. He was working on writing trail maps for Waltham’s open spaces at the time of his death. David enjoyed hiking, biking, kayaking, and rafting. He was an accomplished tenor, he performed in musical theater and choral groups. Also volunteered for Meals on Wheels. Relatives and friends are invited to visit at the Sterling Ashton Schwab Witzke Funeral Home of Catonsville, Inc., 1630 Edmondson Avenue, Catonsville, MD 21228 on Friday, August 9, 2019, from 3-5 and 7-9pm, where a Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, August 10, 2019, 11am. Burial will follow in Lorraine Park. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Waltham Land Trust, PO BOX 541120, Waltham, MA 02454, or Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston, 617 Lexington St., Waltham, MA 02452,


  • Memorial Gathering Friday, August 9, 2019
  • Memorial Gathering Friday, August 9, 2019
  • Memorial Service Saturday, August 10, 2019
  • Committal Service Saturday, August 10, 2019


David R. Kehs

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Steve Morse

August 21, 2019

I was very saddened to hear of Dave's passing. He and I worked together at a company called Alsys in the 1980s and 1990s. In more recent years, we collaborated together to develop web-based tools for genealogists.

I'd like to share a fond memory that I have of Dave. In 1987 I spent a year in France working for Alsys. Dave came to Paris during that time and we decided to take a car trip to Brugge together. My in-laws were visiting with us and they came along too. Since we would be driving from Paris to Brugge and back all in one day, we planned on making a very early start. Our daughter Megan was 5 years old at the time and we carried her down to the car without waking her. My wife Anita took clothing for Megan. We were half way to Brugge when we discovered that Anita forgot to take shoes for Megan. And this was on a Sunday and all the stores that sell shoes were closed. Megan, being the trooper that she was, agreed to be carried around as we spent the day touring Brugge. Dave, my father-in-law, and I all took turns carrying her.

Attached is a picture of Dave carrying shoeless Megan through Brugge.

Gayle MacDonald

August 9, 2019

I was so sorry to hear of David’s passing. David and I met many years ago in the Needham Community Theater production of Carousel. We lost touch after I dropped out of community theater but recently reconnected at a WLT walk. I was so surprised that he recognized me. It was lovely to see him. He was a very kind person and reached out a helping hand when I was having trouble with an incline. I was hoping I would see him again at another WLT function.

You have my sincere sympathies for your terrible loss.

Tom and Carlie Friedlander

August 7, 2019

For years my husband and I enjoyed David’s performances with the Regal Players in Waltham, MA at Christmas time with dinner after the festivities. Then on New Years Day we would join the Waltham Trusts hike many times led by David. We enjoyed his many enthusiastic tales of camping and river trips and talked at length about town government. He will be dearly missed by all here in Massachusetts.

Holiday River Expeditions

August 2, 2019

We share our deepest sympathies with the Kehs family as we mourn the loss of a true wild spirit. David Kehs joined us on many extended backcountry rafting trips over the past 4 years, often times multiple trips back to back. This eagerness to truly connect with unfettered wild places is a passion we deeply resonate with and upholds our mission of preserving our nation’s wild lands. Our guides described David as a man of few words save for when he broke into beautiful songs. They were not surprised to learn of David’s long time service to the Waltham Land Trust and shared interest in wilderness conservation. David was exactly the kind of person we keep our doors open for; folks operating from a place of love for wilderness and service to those around them. His absence will surely be felt on the riverways of the Colorado Plateau.

The Holiday River Expeditions Team

Nancy Rogier

July 30, 2019

David was a long-time and active member of Arlington Friends of the Drama in Arlington, MA, contributing on and off the stage and through donations to the Friends of Friends fund. David became a member of AFD in 1991, the same year he performed as a cast member in “Me and My Gal.” He served on the Play Reading Committee in 1992, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, where his extensive and deep knowledge of theater and musicals helped guide and shape AFD’s season offerings. Dave was always willing to lend a hand at AFD. Whether in the cast of “Fiorello!” in 2003, on the casting committee for “The Graduate” in 2017 or as spotlight operator for “9 to 5: The Musical” in 2018, Dave was a true exemplar of the community theater spirit. He will be greatly missed by his fellow AFD members and performers. We mourn his untimely passing and offer our deepest condolences to his family.

Beth Martin

July 30, 2019

Dear Kehs family,
I am so sorry for your loss. David was a great guy and I am terribly sad that I won't be seeing him around Waltham again. I have know David for over 30 years through Reagle Players. We have performed in countless productions together. I loved his sense of humor and boundless theatre trivia knowledge. The Reagle Christmas show will not be the same without David standing behind me in the opening number.
David will not soon be forgotten by all of his friends and admires.
Beth Martin Pierce

Karen Walz

July 30, 2019

David would always visit the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra's booth at community events. He always took our "fun quiz," and at least once won concert tickets. It was always such a pleasure to see and talk to him. He had a wry sense of humor and a wonderful friendliness. This is a great loss to the Waltham community. He'll be missed by so many. I will personally miss him, and I also express condolences on behalf of the Waltham Philharmonic Orchestra.

Sarah Hankins

July 30, 2019

I met Dave through the Land Trust, attending their events. He was so kind and always someone I enjoyed having a conversation with. He made a real difference in Waltham with his activism. He always went about things in such a nice manner, even when discussing controversial issues. I will really miss seeing him around town and at Land Trust events. RIP Dave!!!