OBITUARY

Keith Frederick Lefley

September 29, 1951November 26, 2012

Keith Frederick Lefley was born on September 29, 1951 and passed away on November 26, 2012.

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Celebration of Life Service Sunday, December 2, 2012

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Following the service,the family wishes everyone to remain for refreshments in the chapel family room
REMEMBERING

Keith Frederick Lefley

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Kathe Maguire

December 24, 2012

Keith was my cousin. I knew him for about a year when he lived with us in El Cerrito, California--he was about sixteen, I was seven. I adored him. I remember him as a tall skinny beanpole in tennis shorts, with his crooked grin, a sort of surrogate older brother, shy and always, always very sweet and generous to me. I missed him when he left and I thought of him often afterwards. Funny how that love you feel for someone in childhood, no matter how fleeting, crsytalizes or gets preserved like a creature in amber. I never knew him when he was symptomatic or smoking. I think I'm really lucky that he came into our lives exactly when he did.

doris and bob lefley

December 10, 2012

Keith was our nephew . We remember him as happy childbut after age 15 he moved with family to Bahamas and then to florida.I would like to echo what his neighbor wrote about so movingly.As his condition became more difficult we would see him on our visits to Florida, when we visited Would always ask Aunt Doris How are you?how are Josh and Janet,his cousins .We shall always remember him as a part of our life and the added understanding of many things that can happen and further along we may know why love to all of his family and friends Doris and the Lefleys North

Carol Reiter

December 1, 2012

Keith was our neighbor for several years when his parents lived next door to us on 59th Street. Keith was about 19 years old at the time and he would often pop over to hang and talk. Because he was a smoker he usually wound up in our back yard...sometimes only one cigarette's worth and at other times it would be several cigarettes long. He enjoyed being with our girls (then numbering only two) and he loved talking to Jeff. His smile was generous and easy. Keith often spoke of individuals or terrors only he knew or saw, but we listened. Who doesn't need a good listening to?

My husband, Jeff, seemed to have a special rapport with Keith and he often went next door when Keith was agitated. Thanksgiving dinners in our back yard with friends and family were celebrations Keith loved. He enjoyed piling food on his plate and the sheer joy of putting it away!

We remember him as a tall, fair, smiling young man - a twinkle in his eye as though he was the possessor of a great story only he could hear, and perhaps that was so. His challenged existence does not diminish his life at all - rather, the daily struggle Keith faced ennobles his life and acts as a template for the rest of us. He was a warrior (in the yoga or Buddhist sense). We will never know the depths Keith had to plumb to greet each dawn. It is humbling to think how difficult it was at times for him. We should remember that everyone is broken in places - that's how the light gets in.

As Saint John Chrysostom, theologian and bishop of Constantinople who died in the early fifth century said, "Those whom we love and lose are no longer where they were before. They are now wherever we are."


SCHIZOPHRENIA

Surrounded by love
Cared for
His life was challenged
In many ways
Zig zagging through life
Often agitated, then at peace
Proficient at arguments
He could see and hear what we could not
Responding to other stimuli
Ever at odds
Not finding safe harbor
In the end
At peace at last.

Carla Neufeld

November 29, 2012

To Harriet with so much love and respect. You have been a beacon of light to me since my own son's diagnosis. I can feel your pain of so many years and so appreciate hearing about the love and support Keith's family gave him. All should be so lucky. I wish you and your family peace in knowing there will be no more pain for Keith, and that you loved him well.

FROM THE FAMILY