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Wayne C. Keith, 92

July 10, 2015
Traer Star-Clipper

Wayne Corliss Keith 92, passed away June 28, 2015. Wayne was born on September 8, 1922 in Traer, Iowa the son of William and Elizabeth (Burns) Keith.

After graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in mechanical engineering, Wayne worked a short time for NASA before going to Alcoa. He moved throughout the company with stops in Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh before coming to Corona in 1968. During those years, he was instrumental in developing and then convincing General Motors that aluminum alloys were cost effective and a safe alternative to the steel wheels being used on large truck and other vehicles. He was active in professional associations and often wrote on the subject of aluminum, and was the co-holder of a patent for stair treads. Wayne moved to Corona as General Manager of Alcoa's premium casting division. He oversaw construction of the plant which at that time was one of the largest employers in Corona. He went on to establish additional operations in El Paso, TX, and Paris, France.

From the time he arrived in Corona he was actively involved in both the industry and community. He was an active member of the Corona Rotary Club (president 1972-1973), Corona-Norco United Way, Good Samaritan Boys Home, First Congregational Church, Navy League, Peppermint Ridge, Corona-Norco Family YMCA, Corona Chamber of Commerce, Corona Community Hospital, Corona-Norco Unified School District, City of Corona, Good Samaritan, CA Manufacturer's Association, Riverside Community College Foundation, Boys Club, and the Wagner. Through the Alcoa Foundation, Wayne was able to secure thousands of dollars for the community. He served on numerous boards, including Western Municipal Water District (President), Peppermint Ridge, Corona Chamber of Commerce, California Manufacturer's Association, United Way, Corona Community Hospital, and Navy League.

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He was named Corona's Citizen of the Year in 1976, and in 2003 received the Ira D. Calvert award from the Chamber of Commerce. In 2013, he was honored with the lifetime achievement award from Peppermint Ridge and in 2015 the lifetime achievement award from the Chamber of Commerce.

He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers: Kenneth, Paul , and Gordon, his wife of 61 years Evelyn Gertrude (Keska), and daughter Barbara Jo Kenney. He is survived by his wife Marjorie, daughter Susie (Randy) Rawson, Son-in-law Thomas (Suzanne) Kenney, grandchildren, Christopher James (Kristi) Kenney, Patrick Keith Kenney, Jeffrey Allen (Kristyn) Rawson, Jillian Marie Rawson, nephews Gary ( Marie) Blatter, and Bruce (Celia) and Kevin (Mary Jo) Keith. He is very proud of his five great grand children: Samantha and Madison Kenney, Nolan, Liam, and Max Rawson.

Funeral arrangements are through Thomas Miller Mortuary. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 AM Wednesday, July 1st at the First Congregational Church located at 809 Ramona Avenue, Corona CA.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to: Peppermint Ridge, 825 Magnolia Ave., Corona, CA 92879. *

 
 

 

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