Ronald Fred Keilbart

Jan. 20, 1936 – Oct. 30, 2019

Ronald Fred Keilbart

Ronald Fred Keilbart, born January 20, 1936 in Enid, Oklahoma on the dining room table at his grandpa’s farm. He was proud of being an Okie. His family moved to Southern California for most of his young life. He married Jean Nielsen and spent the next 20 years in Redding, California, the first 10 as a firefighter for the City of Redding, the next 10 establishing and running a firefighting school at Shasta Community College.

He was the youngest captain in their history. He moved for 4 years to Victor, Montana before settling on Bainbridge Island in 1980. Ron met and married Colleen O’Brien and they spent the next 37 years sailing the waters of the Salish Sea. He skippered his own sailboat from Taiwan to Bainbridge, across the north Pacific, an extraordinary feat.

Ron was an accomplished woodworker, fire builder, and fixer of anything that ever needed fixing. His talents were vast and many. He was self-educated in many aspects of life with knowledge that would challenge any teacher with individual knowledge of a subject.

Ron died peacefully and without pain with his combined family and friends at his side. He is survived by his seven children Gary (Ronda), Joe, Fred (Brenda), Ron (Elda), Tami (Rick Curran), Mary, and Michael Keilbart, and his four stepchildren Jill Jacobi Wood (Geoff), Cathy Jacobi Quinn (Joe Quinn), OB Jacobi (Heidi) and Molly Jacobi Pitts (Mike). He was

called Dad, Ron, Ronnie, Bud, Grandpa, Grandpa K, Papa K, and Beak by his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as he would say, “too many to count”.

He has left a tremendous void in his large family and all his friends. He fought the fight at every step of the way. A memorial will be held at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

on November 23 from 6:30-9:00 with heavy hors d’oeuvres for a celebration of Ron’s life.Please visit for further infomation.

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