October 26, 1946 ~ January 18, 2022
On January 18, 2022, Dr. Robert “Bob” Dean Keys, 75, passed peacefully in his sleep. After only four short months apart, he joined his wife of 52 years in Heaven.
Bob had many passions. A violinist prodigy, he played the violin for over 70 years, and following in the footsteps of his father, at a young age learned amateur ham radio, call sign NA4G. Growing up in southern California he loved the desert climate, often climbing and camping in the local mountains. Known to family as “Pee Wee” (due to being a preemie), with an extensive thirst for knowledge and hours spent in the library, he later became known as “The Wizard” to his motorcycle buddies. Following four years of service in the US Air Force he went on to get his PhD and worked for many years as a professor at North Carolina State University. After retiring from the university, he became an electron microscopist and most recently helped work on both vaccine and treatment research for the coronavirus.
When Bob wasn’t busy working, he loved shooting black powder, playing the fiddle, and spending weekends living like a revolutionary, 18th century style.
Robert leaves behind three beautiful daughters, Robyn Keys, Meredith (Jamie) Manning, and Kerri (Ricky) Rudd; five grandchildren Mark Evan Rose, Patrick, William, and Mary Manning, and Matthew Rudd; one brother Bill Keys (Barbara), along with countless cousins, nieces, and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Lynda Keys, his parents, William Earl and Sarah (Miller) Keys, his brother David, his sister Marilyn, his sister Louise, and a granddaughter Avery Rudd.
A memorial visitation was at Clancy Strickland Wheeler Funeral Home, 1051 Durham Rd, Wake Forest on Friday, Feb. 4 from 6-8 p.m. A memorial service will be held at Layfayette Long Rifles at 10 Flintlock Lane in Harnett County on Monday, April 25, 2022, at 2 p.m. where Bob will be fired from a cannon.
Arrangements by Clancy Strickland Wheeler Funeral Home, Wake Forest, NC. (919)556-7400.