OBITUARY

Keith Eugene Urey

October 3, 1952January 16, 2021
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Mr. Keith Eugene Urey, age 68 of China Grove, left for his heavenly home on Saturday, January 16, 2021 at Atrium Health-Cabarrus after a very brief illness. Born October 3, 1952 in Cabarrus County, Keith was the son of the late James Grex Urey and Billie Lou McWethy. He attended Woodleaf Baptist Church.

Keith spent his career as a welder at Freightliner, driving a school bus for Rowan County Schools and his favorite job was not a job at all, but a true passion in serving as a train conductor at Village Park in Kannapolis. His real passion was playing Santa Claus not only at Village Park but in many locations in and around the area. He WAS Santa Claus – he lived to provide joy and smiles to everyone he encountered. He was a joyous, loving man who will be missed by all who had the pleasure to know him.

Those left to cherish his memory are his son and best friend, James Grex Urey; his step-daughters, Kerstin Marie Urey and Amanda Lechette. He also leaves behind his soulmate in life, Virginia Laureen Hunter along with his sister, Tina Baker.

Visitation for Keith will be on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 from 4:00 – 5:00pm at Linn-Honeycutt Funeral Home in China Grove. Memorial Service will follow in the Chapel at 5:00pm officiated by Pastor Chris Williams of Woodleaf Baptist Church. The family has requested you keep his Christmas spirit alive by donating at Christmas to Toys for Tots to help those less fortunate. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.linn-honeycutt.com. Linn-Honeycutt Funeral Home is honored to be serving the family of Mr. Urey.

Services

  • A Celebration of Life Visitation

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021

  • Memorial Service

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Memories

Keith Eugene Urey

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Allen Scott

January 21, 2021

There was never any doubt that Keith and Laureen were in love. Keith recently called and asked if I could meet him at the train station. When I arrived the train was out on a test run. I could here the engine pulling the hill from Goldston, but it had not come into view. As it approached the end of the fence at the splash pad, I saw Keith driving and Laureen sitting next to him with a big smile on her face. I greeted them as they pulled into the train station and asked Keith, "Did you pick up this good looking hitchhiker somewhere along the tracks?" Keith replied with a grin on his face, "Sure did!" Laureen, Marsha and I wanted so much to attend the service for Keith. Although I believe I am no longer contagious, I could not take a chance by going out in public. Laureen, you will remain in our prayers and if there is anything we can do to help during this difficult time, please let us know.
Allen and Marsha Scott

Sky Candy Balloons

January 21, 2021

While we only met Keith for a brief moment, the time we spent talking to him definitely stood out! He and his beautiful wife touched our soul! They were so sweet and I loved talking to them. Please let us know if we can do anything to help. I am so sorry we didn’t know about his passing before now.

Kerstian Urey

January 21, 2021

I just want to share the memory, first, of the day my Dad passed. I went to OCharley's that day, for the first time since I was about 14-15 years old and had went with him and my brother James. I kept thinking while I was there about how he would always get the loaded potato soup and it would be cheesy and strings of the cheese would hang down his beard and we would giggle. I left the restaurant after that to go get my car washed at Sam's and before we drove through, although it was sunny and beautiful out, it started snowing. I guess what I'm trying to say is when Santa goes on to Heaven... it snows. I hadn't had a good day in a while, but that day, for some reason, I felt comforted by these things that were happening. I pray that when it's my time to go, that he will come down on a sparkly, shiny, red Harley and take me upstairs. Until then, he will always be in my heart and the memory of his smile and his big warm hugs will comfort me...

Connie Furr

January 20, 2021

Since we could not be there we watched the tribute video at 4 so we could feel we were a part of the memorial. The tribute was beautiful and a wonderful way to honor a wonderful man

Karen Green

January 20, 2021

Keith, if ever I had a true friend, whom had several of the same interests it was you. Enjoyed every time I saw you. If I wasn't in Ohio right now I would be there for Grex. Love to the family. Grex I promise the pain eases off, but it will never go away. Let me know when our wedding date is. Lol.

Connie Furr

January 20, 2021

We are there today in spirit. God bless each of you. Laureen we love you so much

Michelle Hunter

January 20, 2021

My thoughts & prayers are with the family at this difficult time. I met Keith through my family and he was my neighbor. He was always willing and eager to help if he could. I remember the first time I seen him as Santa, and thinking, how authentic he looked! Very impressive. I’m sure that he will be dearly missed.

Sincerely,
Michelle Hunter

Laureen Hunter

January 19, 2021

I met this man, Keith Urey over 3 years ago. I never dreamt at my age in life that I’d fall in love!
He opened a whole new world to me. Took me places I’d never seen. Shared experiences with me that I never dreamed could happen. Opened doors for me that brought great joy into my life.
His dear family and friends welcomed me into his life and their’s.
We became “joined at the hip”, his thoughts were mine and vice versa. We knew what each other were thinking before it got spoken. Never ended the day without telling each other how much we loved each other.
This was a once in a lifetime match.
Who would have thought I could find my soul mate and my best friend all wrapped up in the same person.
He knew what I was thinking before I’d say it.
He knew exactly what I needed even when I was too stubborn to see it.
He knew how to make me fall in love with him over and over again.
He was such a good gentle man that brought great joy to all who met him.
The joy he brought to children and adults alike, as Santa. He WAS Santa and to have the privilege to become his Mrs Claus was surreal! The joy that brought to my heart sharing those times with him, made me so proud.
To lose this man, the love of my life is unbearable! It will be hard to move on.
But with the help of God, of his family and my dear friends, I will do my best to continue.
I know Keith will be by my side and I hope, in some way I can continue to spread some happiness from his legacy.
I will love you forever Keith and hope I can be of some strength to James and Andrea throughout the rest of my life.
Someday, I know we’ll be together again and get on the sleigh ride again!

Richard Hough

January 19, 2021

I had the pleasure of getting to know Keith when I worked for a few years at Kannapolis Parks and Recreation. He was a kind and gentle person, a REAL person, an interesting person. Saddened to hear of his passing. I know he will be missed.

Debbie Smith

January 19, 2021

I was lucky enough to meet Keith thru the many bus trips that I have taken with Kann Parks and Rec. He was always so professional and courteous as our bus driver. I also knew him as Santa by taking my grandkids to Village Park every year. He embodied “Santa Clause” in every way. A gentle spirit, a kind soul, just the sweetest man. He will be missed by all who knew him. Laureen, my heart goes out to you and the rest of Keith’s family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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