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Keith, 79, died April 24, 1997. He was born October 13, 1917, in Ottumwa, Iowa and was a member of the Brethren Church. He was drafted into Civilian Public Service in 1941 from Chicago where his occupation was listed as Stock Clerk. He worked at a camp in Michigan fighting fires and building roads before being sent to another camp in Waldport, Oregon, doing the same type work. In 1943 he was selected for the CPS-103 smokejumper unit in Montana. After training he was sent to McCall for the initial season of that base where he made three fire jumps. In an unusual move for a CPS jumper, he left public service in 1944 and enlisted in the Army Air Corps. Keith was discharged in 1945. He married Ester who was an Army Air Corps nurse, had four children and lived in Wheaton, Illinois, for a time. His occupation was listed as carpenter/builder. Keith is buried in Clarendon Hill Cemetery, Darien, Illinois.



Publication Date

September 2020


Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Utterback, Francis Keith (McCall 1943)