The Star - News, views and advertising of the Grand Coulee Dam Area

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

Keith W. Masterson



On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Keith W. Masterson, local area farmer and rancher, moved to a new location where the weather is always beautiful and the fields are totally free of rocks and weeds. His brief 21-day stay in the Grand Coulee Hospital was over.

Born in the summer of 1918 at the Wilbur Hospital, he spent his infant days sleeping in a drawer out of the chest in his parents' bedroom. His family then moved to the Wenatchee area to work full time in the apple orchards. In the spring of 1925, his infant brother died of meningitis and later that fall his father died from pneumonia brought on by tuberculosis just five months before his 27th birthday. Returning to his maternal grandparents' home, Keith started grade school in Wilbur and later transferred to Almira, where his widowed mother was living and working with her bachelor brother, Robert Campbell, on the J.G. Wolfe place. Keith and his older sister, Lela, finished grade school and graduated high school in Almira.

Money was scarce during the Great Depression, but Keith did spend one semester at Pacific Lutheran University and another at Washington State College.

In 1948, his stepfather died suddenly and Keith began his full-time farming career. He pulled on the work boots every day for another 67 years. Crops and cattle were his passion.

Keith was a member of the Lutheran Church in Almira until it closed. Next, he attended services at Zion Lutheran in Grand Coulee. He was a member of the Grand Coulee Grange and Washington Association of Wheat Growers. Son Tomsaid "He qualified for Workaholic Farmers not so Anonymous."

Keith is survived by his wife, Betsy, at the TCU in the Davenport Hospital; son, Tom, on the family farm in Almira; and daughter, Cindy (Greg), living at Hanson Harbor north of Wilbur, just a hop, skip, and jump from where her maternal grandmother was born and raised. Other survivors include his sister-in-law, Lora Belle Childers, and her four children: Dale, Deanna, Danette and Delora. Also surviving is his sister's son, Jack Krueger, along with his wife, Sharon, and their children: Mark and Jacky. His mother had 10 siblings and his father had one sister, so the list of cousins is long. Obviously when you live to be over 97 years old, the list of people who have gone before you is even longer.

Mr. Masterson laid in state at the Strate Funeral Home in Wilbur on Thursday, January 21, 2016, from 5-7 p.m. A graveside service was held Friday, January 22, 2016 at 11 a.m., at the Wilbur Cemetery, Wilbur, followed by a memorial service, at 1 p.m., at the Zion Lutheran Church, Grand Coulee, Washington.

Memorials may be made to the Almira or Wilbur Cemetery Endowment.

You might be interested in:

Reader Comments