Keith E. Strait

August 08, 1945 ‒ February 22, 2017

Mount Gilead, Ohio

A proud patriot of the United States, Keith E. Strait, age 71, of Mount Gilead, was called to heaven to meet his Lord and savior after passing away peacefully at home following a battle with cancer.

On August 8, 1945, Keith was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, one of three children of the late Tina (Pruitt) Casto and Robert Strait.

At the age of 17, Keith wanted to better himself and enlisted early to serve in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War.  He was stationed in Maine and served as a flight line escort, assisting with transportation.  He also earned his high school diploma during his service.

Upon his honorable discharge, Keith returned home to Mount Gilead and quickly went to work at the Whirlpool Corporation in Marion, sometimes working double shifts to provide a good life for his family.  He worked there for thirty years, working his way up to being an inspector.  He retired from there in 2001.

Keith formerly attended the Pulaskiville Community Bible Church and Berean Baptist Church. He also left a legacy to his children about his strong faith in the saving power of Jesus.

Keith married the love of his life, Jan Casto, in August of 1986.

Born to ride, Keith loved “motorcycles, motorcycles, and … motorcycles.” Although he had several Harley Davidson’s throughout the years, his pride and joy was his beautiful orange motorcycle he built from scratch and completely with his own two hands.  He especially enjoyed the common misconception that everyone thought it was a Harley Davidson, when only a couple parts on the bike were Harley parts.  Recently, he was proud to display his motorcycle at the Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) for three months, alongside a famous motorcycle builder, Billy Lane.  Being a motorcycle enthusiast also meant Keith loved to ride in the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, making it to 17 rally’s and he really hoped to be able to make it to at least one more.

Being the proud patriot that he was, Keith believed in fighting for those who lost their lives in Vietnam, but were never brought home.  He wore this belief by creating a flag holder on his motorcycle to display the American flag, POW, and MIA flags to flap boldly behind him.  He and Jan also rode in the Rolling Thunder Run in Washington D.C. several times protesting that Capital Hill was not bringing our fallen Vietnam soldiers home.  He even went as far as painting one of his vans with the slogan, “All Gave Some.  Some Gave All.”  Keith also was a member of the American Legion and the Patriot Guard Riders.

Keith also had a talent and love for wood working which he made into a business opportunity.

A staunch republican, Keith openly shared his opinions whenever possible.  He was so firm in his beliefs, he wanted to share them to help better the Mount Gilead and Morrow County community.  He did so as a member of Village Council, serving several terms.  He also ran for Mayor, being narrowly defeated in that race.

In addition to his wife and children, Keith loved his canine companions, having too many to count over his lifetime, however the two most recent: Buddy and Bo.  He was reunited with Buddy, as he too just passed.

His family is very proud of him as he overcame a lot in his life, which made him the strong man he was.  They are also proud of how he fought for his family (especially his children), for his community, and for his country.

He will be missed by his wife, Jan Strait; three children: Trisha (Mitch) Hutchinson, Dane Strait, and Heather (Tony) Williamson; three step-children: Gary “Dean” Chubb, Roni Marie (Khalid) Ali, and Jeremy (Sherri) Chubb; 17 grandchildren: Ashley Bailey, Haley Hutchinson, Sydney, Noah, Daejai, and Cierra Strait, Sarah-Faith Bean, Zach Chubb, Ava, Imaad, Azim and Laila Ali, Jacee and Emma Chubb, Britt, and Eve, Gavin Chubb, Zoe’; and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Including his parents, Keith was preceded in death by a step-son, Jonathan Chubb; and two sisters: Judy McAvoy and Penny Harden.

Keith’s family and friends will be invited to join them at 2 p.m. at the Mount Gilead Swimming Pool, 223 N. Cherry St., Mount Gilead, where they will start their tribute ride to his final resting place in Rivercliff Cemetery in Mount Gilead.  Graveside services officiated by Hospice Chaplain Jeff Slider with military honors provided by the VFW Post 8053 and AmVets Post 87 will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to his family to assist them with unexpected expenses.

On behalf of his family, they would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to one of Keith’s closest friends, Bobby Morrison and his wife, Kim, for being a true friend, caring for him every minute of his final days.

Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to have been chosen to serve Keith’s family and your condolences may be expressed to them by visiting

  • Jan and Family,

    You and the family have our deepest sympathy. Hugs and prayers during this difficult time.

  • Keith will be missed out and about on his bike with the flags blowing in the wind. A lot of people seen him, God bless him, and his family

  • Jan and family, I’m so sorry for your loss. It is hard to lose your soul mate, but you know he is in heaven now with no pain and suffering. My prayers and thoughts are with you. Ruth Davis

  • My deepest sympathies o the Stait family. Every time I saw him on his bike, my heart filled with pride with all of Keith’s convictions. He was a wonderful person and a pure soul. God Bless you, my brother!

  • Wow! We lost a true American! Much love to ya bud and my condolences to the family . Scott wells and family

  • My brother that I never had ,,,I will
    Meet him again ,he was a true Patriot that loved his country ,his family his pets and his Harley’s

  • I am so sorry to hear about your dad passing away. I will remember him always riding is motorcycle with all the flags on the back. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Deepest sympathy to the family thru this difficult time. I will always remember this proud American riding his bike all over town with the flags waving. May the family find comfort in knowing that Keith will be fondly remembered by many.

  • Deepest sympathy to Keith’s family. Was always glad to see the display of flags sailing in the breeze when he’d cruze by, always knew that was Keith in a group of cycles. He was a true patriot who was true to all vets. Our country has lost a good man

  • Keith was a great neighbor and a wonderful guy. He always made me smile when I saw him on his custom, riding around with those giant flags snapping in the wind. Meredith and I are very saddened to hear that he lost his fight with cancer. His passing leaves a huge void in the community and Jan and family are in our thoughts.

  • We worked with Keith at Whirlpool for many years.
    We will miss him and and the good times we had.
    He was always easy to spot when on his bike.
    Our sincere condolences and our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  • Straits I am so sorry! I always enjoyed seeing his bike with the flags! He was an awesome neighbor! We loved the house decorations for the holidays. We enjoyed the new wood crafts he would display! God bless my friends.

  • Prayers for your family during this difficult time. Keith was a man who lived by his beliefs and convictions and respected by many for that reason.
    Don and Julie Wick

  • We are so very sorry for the loss. I was always proud to see him fly his flag on that beautiful ride. He will be missed. Prayers to your family.

  • Heather,
    Prayers to you & your family…Your father will always have a place in my childhood memories with his wooden birds & alien head on the house. He was always so kind & friendly…may you find peace friend ❤

  • So sorry to hear of the passing of Keith. Knew Keith all of my life as his sister Judy was my aunt. Worked with him at Whirlpool for many years. Will miss seeing him around town with his bike and flags flapping in the wind

  • Thank you for your service Keith! We will miss seeing him around town with his bike and flying those flags with American Pride!

  • Trish –
    So very sorry for your loss. May the Lord comfort you during this difficult time.

    Amy & Marcie Coder

  • Jan, I am so very sorry about Keith. I had no idea he was that sick. I know what it’s like to lose your soulmate. Ron was really proud and loved Keith. He was a good man and brought fun ,pride and lots of opinions to the meetings with Rolling Thunder. Ron and I loved stopping by when we went by your house. We loved and respected both of you guys. He will be missed riding around town. As you know, I live in Florida and can’t be there. Take care and imagine him and Ron in heaven watching over you and talking bikes. Love you Jan.

  • I send my most sincere condolences to the Strait family. I knew Keith as an Ohio Patriot Guard member and the first time doing a mission for his cousin. Meeting him at other missions and around the community riding his bike and flying those flags proudly. Keith I too served in the Air Force and also in Maine. I didn’t know that about you and wished we could have had the time to discuss our common bond.
    You served our country proud and are now on call for your flight to the heavens.
    I salute you and am sending prayers from Florida to those you left behind.
    Rest in Peace sir. 3 second salute.

  • I am very sorry for your loss. Prayers for comfort during this difficult time. Keith was a great member of the community and he will be dearly missed.

  • To the Strait Families.So sorry for your loss… Keith was very proud to ride his Decorated bike with his flags waving in the wind.Seeing him ride passed me..warmed my heart..Condolences from Tony,Wayne, Jamie, Bonnie.Belden.

  • Sorry for your loss.Thoughts and prayers to the Strait family. Keith will always be remembered flying his flags proudly as he rides through town. Summers in Mt. Gilead will not be the same .

  • very sorry to hear about Keith he was a good friend and will be missed by many people Rest In Peace My Friend Bill Carter

  • Jan and family I’m so sorry for the loss of Keith. He was an awsome thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • A great man has been lost. I had no idea he was sick . May his memory stay with you Jan and your family. I remember going to the drag races with him in Mt Vernon back in the 60s along with and a bunch of us from Mt Gilead .We would come back to the town square and display the trophies . I also wanted and worked as hard as I could to get the city of Mt Gilead to make it right about the mayors race they did Keith wrong he should have won. I still have the newspaper clips from it all. As I can see he had many friends and will be missed .Stand by your family Janis they will help support you.
    May GOD bless you all .

  • So sorry for your loss. There isn’t any words that I can say to make it any easier, besides WOW! What an amazing man and neighbor. My heart goes out to the entire family. He will be dearly missed by the entire community. Such a joy to see him riding and enjoying every minute. Lots of thoughts and prayers for the family during one of the hardest times of your life. GOD BLESS. RIP Keith.

  • I knew Keith for a long time . His daughter Heather and son Dane grew up with my sister and I . We hung out and played in backyard . When their dad was repairing out chimney . He was a good man and dad too . He was very nice to my sister and I also . As my sister fell off her swing and he came right over to check to see if she was ok . I give my condolences to his family . As he will be sadly missed . May his family have peace with God through this emotional time of grief .

  • Sidney & Noah, I am so sorry you lost your grandpa. May he always be in your hearts and live in your memories.

  • RIP My Friend, Many willbe lost I know I will be one .My Condolence to your family and friends Prayer for all. As the Old saying is Happy Trails and Till we meet again.

  • RIP My Friend, Many will be lost I know I will be one .My Condolence to your family and friends Prayer for all. As the Old saying is Happy Trails and Till we meet again.

  • Jan. No words can adequately express how I feel about you and Keith. He was an inspiration to everybody who met him. And we will all carry a little bit of him in in our lives.

  • Keith will be missed by so many. I will never forget the day I was riding my bike to work for the very first time and it broke down. Keith stopped got me on the road again and then followed me all the way to Marion to make sure I made it. He said he would never leave a fellow biker stranded. He showed me such kindness and love that day and it is something I will never forget! Thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Keith was a good friend and inspirstion,he had a lot of criticism but solid input when my bike was being built, which I rode for the past 13 years and sold to buy what Keith called a”geasir Glide” ,full dressed bagger for those that don’t know,he will be missed by many !

  • Although I didn’t have the pleasure and honor of knowing a fellow Air Force brother, I did have the opportunity of knowing his wife, Jan for we worked together at Dana for 15 years.
    I’ll always remember the proud display of our nation flag along side of the somber POW flag.
    I wish peace and comfort to Keith’s entire family. May God be with you all.

  • Deepest Sympathy to Keiths family,I worked with him at Whirlpool such a wonderful man.Will miss seeing those flags flying from his bike.Your loss was heavens gain and now rests in the arms of Jesus.

  • Thinking of you. I will be praying for strength & comfort during this difficult in your lives. God bless you all.

  • Sorry to hear of Keith’s passing. We enjoyed the times we had riding together. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Jan and family.

  • Keith gave a visiting friend and I a personal showing of “THE” bike when I went to pick up some birds he had cut for me. Seeing it on the road, I had no idea how special it was! We will miss the unique man with unique talents!

  • Jan:
    We’re sorry for your loss. Keith may be gone from this earth but he will live forever in your hearts…

  • Gary and family;
    You have our most sincere sympathies. We all will miss your dad’s zipping through town, reminding us of the sacrifices of so many. God bless you and yours.
    Love ya Pete and Diane Mills and families

  • So sorry for your loss! Thankful his suffering was not long! Always admire someone who is not afraid to stand up for what they believe! He did that! God bless you, Jan and family!!

  • I remember some of the best days of youth with this amazing family..we are so sorry for the loss of a local need anything please call..

  • Sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers be with your during your time of sorrow. Rest in peace in heaven.

  • I offer my condolences to the family. Keith, enjoy the neverending wind in your hair as you ride with the King. Thank you for your service to our country and thank you for your service to the Ohio Patriot Guard. “Rest in Peace”

    Bob Woods
    State Captain
    Ohio Patriot Guard

  • I offer my condolences to the family. Keith, enjoy the never ending wind in your hair as you ride with the King. Thank you for your service to our country and thank you for your service to the Ohio Patriot Guard. “Rest in Peace”

    Bob Woods
    State Captain
    Ohio Patriot Guard

  • My deepest & most sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of A2C Keith Eric Strait, USAF / Vietnam Era Veteran. We are the land of the free because we are the home of the Brave. Brave Heroes like A2C Keith Eric Strait, USAF / Vietnam Era Veteran. Rest In Peace Brave Hero.

    Gary Knight
    Ohio Patriot Guard
    District 2 Captain

    In Memory Of:
    SSGT Mathew F. Knight US AIR FORCE Korea
    TEC 4 William L. Carter US ARMY WWII
    PFC William E. Hoffman US ARMY WWII

  • Hey Keith, I’m so sorry that I didn’t get up to see you. For some strange reason, I’ve been thinking about you recently, and now I know why. So often I go by your house when going elsewhere, wanting to stop in to say hello, but it never seemed to happen. I miss seeing you going by on your beloved Tiger striped bike with the flags on the back! I don’t get the newspaper, just the weekend Shopper’s Compass, so I didn’t see your obituary until today, March 5th, otherwise I would have come to see you at Snyder. If you still have your beloved dogs, they will miss you greatly, I’m sure, but you can always let them know that you are thinking about them. To your family, I’m so sorry for your loss and just want to express my condolences. I use to be one of your tenants in the white house, first floor, next to your house.