“Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18
R. Keith Lunders was born to Anita Johnson and Paul Arbogast on February 5, 1944. He was blessed to be adopted by E. M. “Tuffy” Lunders when Tuffy married Anita in 1947. His younger sister, Linda Ann, completed the family. Because Tuffy worked construction jobs all over the northwest, the family relocated, as necessary, to accommodate his work. This meant making new friends on a regular basis, a lifelong skill. When Keith was about 14 the family finally settled and remained in the Lewiston area.
He started dating a beautiful brunette, Marjorie Eberhardt, as a Sophomore. He was an excellent student at Lapwai and was the Student Body President his Senior year. He also adored playing football for Mr. Wilson and made life-long friends with a number of his classmates. Soon after graduation, Keith enlisted in the Air Force. He was stationed in Rapid City, SD and was one of the first young men assigned to the Minuteman Missile program. His gift for working fairly complex mathematical equations in his head made him a valuable asset to his teammates.
On November 10, 1962 Keith married Marjorie in Clarkston, WA. They lived first near Ellsworth Air Force Base at Rapid City, SD, then back to the Lewiston Orchards, Cottonwood Creek, Culdesac, and then years at Elk River and Troy, Idaho. Grandkids were Keith’s greatest pleasure and he made time for fishing, bonfires, sledding and sleepovers. Marjorie kept the kitchen table full of delectables and he could make a pretty fair breakfast, if you liked huckleberry sourdoughs and brook trout. Keith and Marjorie practiced an open door policy. Family, friends and even strangers (who are just friends in the making) were guests for many meals over the years. There was a lot of fellowship shared across the kitchen table.
Marjorie and Keith celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2012. In 2015 Marjorie was diagnosed with cancer and was gathered home three days after their 53rd anniversary. Keith wanted to stay in Elk River, but, due to his health concerns, was unable to. He moved back to Troy to be closer to family and then, in 2020, moved to the Idaho State Veterans Home in Lewiston. The isolation forced on all of us due to Covid was difficult but, drawing on his childhood experience, he enjoyed friendships with those around him. He would especially want to thank Scott and Larry, the VA pastors and his caregivers, who were truly his heroes. As soon as was possible, the VA allowed visitors and we were so blessed to be able to visit and hug him once more. Keith’s last words to his children were, “I love you”. He passed into the presence of his Savior on April 10th at 9 a.m.
His gift in life, the true measure of his riches, was never in dollars, it was always in his love for others. Keith made the decision to trust his life to God when he was an 18 year old Air Force recruit and he never looked back, making it a daily habit to read the Bible and pray. You probably made it on to the list of those whose names were mentioned in prayer. He is survived by: Mark and Sheila; Ben, Heather, Isaac and Emma; Jamie and Cameron Sheehan; Bailey and Nick Brown (and baby); Seth; Valorie; Connie and Eldin; Jeff and Brook; Wyatt (and Hailey); Ryder Sams, Morgan Sams (Cale); Abby, and Aspynn. His sister Linda Waggoner resides in California with her husband Al. Troy Anderson, their grandson, came and lived with Keith and Marge for a time and is also living in California. Jon Schaper, was an honorary grandson, having “adopted” our parents at an early age, as did Conn and Kanna Evans. Also surviving is his half-sister, Sandy Arbogast. The list would be too long to mention his precious in-laws and all the cousins, nieces and nephews that blessed his life. Please know that his greatest hope is to spend eternity with family and friends.
Keith’s memorial service will take place at 1:00pm, Friday April 15th at Trinity Baptist; 711 Fairview Dr. in Moscow, Idaho. A potluck will follow.
For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel of Moscow and condolences may be left at www.shortsfuneralchapel.com
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