OBITUARY

Keith Alexander Brewis

January 12, 1932January 4, 2021

Keith Alexander Brewis January 12, 1932 - January 4, 2021

Our dear father and grandfather left us on January 4th, at Vernon Jubilee Hospital. Born in Regina on January 12, 1932, to Fred and Janetta Brewis, Keith always took great pride in his Saskatchewan roots. As a young man in the early 1950’s, he ventured west on his way to California, and while stopping over in the Okanagan, he was enticed by an opportunity to play for an intermediate hockey team. Soon after, he met and married a local girl, Joan Rivett, and made his home in Vernon.

Over the past 70 years, Keith’s unwavering dedication to his community has been exemplified through his passionate support of local sports, and his commitment to volunteerism. Encouraged by his father, he grew up playing a variety of sports, which kept him active through his senior years. His love of hockey, as a fan and a player spanned most of his life, beginning as a boy playing in the Regina Parks League, and finishing as a member of the Vernon Old Timers Hockey Club. Keith was a daily “Early Bird” swimmer at the Rec Centre Pool for 35 years, and a competitive cross-country skier, curler, and tri-athlete. As the founder of the Vernon Kokanee Swim Club, he also played an instrumental role as a co-founder in the establishment of the North Okanagan Cross Country Ski Club, and Vernon’s first slow pitch league. He coached competitive swimming, high school football, baseball, and minor hockey. In 1988, Keith was thrilled to be chosen to run the Olympic Torch for 1km near Vernon, on its way to the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary. And in 2012, he was honoured to be inducted into the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame, as a “Builder”, for his many contributions to sports.

Recognized not only for his significant impact on local sports, Keith was also awarded the “Vision of Vernon” award, and was named the 2005 Good Citizen of the Year, for his widespread contributions to his community. Keith worked for BC Hydro for 33 years, and was active as a Power Pioneer in his retirement. He felt it was important to give back, and spent many hours volunteering for the Street Lunch Program, the Schubert Centre, and the Vernon Jubilee Hospital as a patient visitor.

As Joan used to say, Keith had the “gift of the gab”, as he could easily strike up conversations with anyone he met, and often made new friends wherever he went. Affectionately called “Boo” by many of his friends and family, Keith cherished his memories of years past, and loved to share stories of his childhood summers in Regina Beach. As a young boy, he would rush to grab a window seat for the 40 mile train ride across the prairie to what he referred to as “Paradise”, where he and his friends would make “world class castles with our tin pails and wet sand”, and watch the trains come into the station. His stories from those days almost always included a rave about his family’s visits to “Butler’s Fish and Chips”. Keith’s deep connection to Saskatchewan remained with him always, and he was a self-described “rabid fan of the Roughriders” since 1944.

Keith had a creative side too, making homemade candles, carving burnt cedar sculptures and hooking rugs. He loved an adventure, making many road trips with Joan through the southwestern states, as well as trips to Hawaii, California and Europe. Keith cherished his long summers at the family cabin at “Rainbow Beach” on Shuswap Lake, where he could often be found flipping pancakes, or dancing on the deck to some favourite music. Wearing his flowered sun hat, he kept himself busy with projects around the property, and always welcomed visitors with open arms. Most of all, Keith adored spending time with his grandkids, playing on the beach, diving off the swim dock, strolling to the store, making balloon animals and even doing dishes together.

A caring and devoted husband, Keith is now reunited with the love of his life, Joan, who passed away in 2018. He was also predeceased by his parents and brother Glen. Keith will be forever loved and missed by his family; son Bob (Claudia), daughter Bev, son Jeff (Valerie), sister-in-law Shirley, and grandchildren, Molly, Mya, Taylor, and Cole. As well as nephews Kerry and Craig, and nieces Karin and Kris.

Keith will be most remembered for his willingness to give a helping hand, his ability to lead with integrity, his care for others, and the love and devotion he showed his family and friends. He will live in our hearts forever, continuing to inspire us to be our best for others, to stay active, and to pursue our passions.

The family would like to express their gratitude for the compassionate care shown by the staff at Canterbury Court, Interior Health Home Care and the Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be given to the Schubert Center or the BC Hydro Power Pioneers, in memory of Keith. Due to Covid19 safety protocols, a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date, and a virtual slideshow honouring Keith will be shared with family and friends.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Keith Alexander Brewis

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Brewis Family

January 20, 2021

Thank you all for your memories and condolences at this difficult time. Here is a preview of the virtual celebration of life we are working on...a 4 year old Keith Brewis...who called himself "Keety Boo"...hence the lifelong nickname "Boo".

Michelle Dobler

January 19, 2021

I was so saddened to hear about the passing of dear sweet Keith. He was so much fun and had a very special way of connecting with people. I always felt like I was part of his family whenever we spent time together and I knew that he was genuinely interested in anything I had to say. The world is a better place for his presence in it. He is now in the arms of his true love, Joan, and that image makes me smile. Farewell, Keith. You will be missed.

~Michelle, Katie and Ashton Dobler xo

Peter Hrdlitschka

January 19, 2021

My sincere condolences to the Brewis family on the passing of Keith. Keith was such a nice person that everyone liked. I thoroughly enjoyed my years swimming with the Vernon Kokanees which Keith founded and coached. The many hours that he dedicated to the club did not go unnoticed by the swimmers and parents alike. I give my swimming career credit for setting up my business career and Keith helped set the tone on that. Thank you Keith and RIP!

John Rogan

January 18, 2021

So saddened by you and your family's loss, Bob. Keith was indeed a good and sharing man whom I had the honour of knowing for a long time. Not only will he be missed by his family and friends, but also by the greater community of Vernon as well. With the sincerest of condolences, ....John

Ron Spohr

January 17, 2021

Bob and Family
I was saddened to read of the passing of your
dad Bob. I never met your dad but remember
the times you told me about him when we
worked together. I was amazed at the things
he accomplished and the high praise you had
for him. I hope those wonderful memories of
him will help and comfort you all during
those days of loss and sorrow.

Ewen Pitt

January 14, 2021

To the Brewis family.
My heart felt condolences on hearing of Keith's passing. We met over thirty years ago at the early morning swim at the Vernon Rec Center. Keith kept his friends entertained on the good old days of growing up in Regina, summers at Regina Beach and hockey with the gang. He was a true loyal Roughriders supporter even if they lost a game. Keith was a man of integrity with a sharp wit that dearly cherished his family. Keith was such a positive influence and role model to so many people over the years.
Your at peace now my good friend back at the side of your loving bride. You'll be missed
Ewen and Ester Pitt,

Steve Dobler

January 14, 2021

Jeff and Family,
My sincere condolences on the passing of your father.
Keith was a thoughtful and accomplished man.
I always enjoyed his energy!
Big hugs,
Steve

Mel Donhauser

January 14, 2021

Bob and family.
I am saddened to hear of your Dad's passing but yet I feel warmth that I knew him. He is now reunited with your Mom doing the things they love to do. Cherish the memories and wonderful guidance he has given you. He will be missed by everyone that knew him but not forgotten.
Hang in there my friend.
Mel Donhauser

David Keckalo

January 14, 2021

Dear Keith, you still make me smile, how you fooled us kids into attending the Rock Festival at Rainbow Beach.
There was no concert, just a bunch of rocks you wanted us to move.
And then your storytelling. Oh my!
We already miss you.
David Keckalo

Fran Cormack

January 13, 2021

Dear Brewis Families,
The Cormacks send our deepest sympathy .
We have enjoyed wonderful times with Joan, Keith, their kids and grandkids on the shores of Shuswap Lake every summer for over 54 years. We have missed Joan and Keith when they were not strong enough to come to the lake in the last few years. Because of COVID this was the first summer that I have not made the journey to Vernon for lunch and a visit. We will miss Keith's cheery "HI NEIGHBOUR" when we arrive at the lake or when we call on the phone. We pray that you will be comforted by all of your wonderful memories and by all of the people who have been touched on his life's journey and service.
Love and blessings, Fran Cormack

FROM THE FAMILY