Keith Kreps

By Don Sanford

If you were among the few who motored/drifted out to the starting area on Wednesday evening, you might have noticed Veloce sailing under a slightly different spinnaker. Our boys on Veloce flew this in tribute to their good friend and MYC member Keith Kreps who passed away on Tuesday. Keith was and very active MYC social member. He and Wendy were regular hosts of the famous Bloody Mary party for many, many years at their home near the UW Lifesaving Station. A celebration of Keith's life will be scheduled at a later date. His obit is in today's Wisconsin State Journal. I'll leave the rest of this message to Grant Frautschi who had this remembrance and tribute to his dear friend.

It is with a mixed emotion, sad and happy that I share with you that our friend Keith Kreps passed on August 19th. Keith was my best friend and everyone's friend. He shared his funny signature open mouth laugh and smile, his passion for life, knowledge of business, his boats, his beer and his family. Keith did not have a big family, but he sure made one by including all of us.

Always desiring to be a pirate, Keith never made it, instead Keith was the Jolly Mon. Every second that I knew him, everywhere he went, near and far he spread joy and laughter, and made people happy.

Please know the strength that your friendships gave him and Wendy as they fought an undiagnosed illness these last few years. As always, he showed us how to live life, during the last years, he was always optimistic never giving up. His boundless love for Wendy kept him fighting, trapped in his body he just could not do it anymore.

In the end, as he was leaving on his journey, Keith was there holding court making us all smile and laugh, telling stories and then listening to ours. It should not be a surprise to anyone that he had a Bloody Mary, a beer, and listened to music surrounded by the ones he loved the most and slowly drifted peacefully away on his journey of afterlife.

I believe that Keith is sailing the heavens and will always be around us. I know that he is in my heart and as only the Jolly Mon could be and will put a smile on my face whenever I think of him, which will be often. As you think of Keith right now, I bet you're smiling and have just a little spring in your heart - that is the magic of our friend Keith.

I can add this chance encounter I had with Keith a few years ago when I pulled into the Edgewater pier to pick up a load of passengers in the Grand Mariner. The place was jumping and there was no space for any "normal" boats to tie up, let alone the 52-foot Grand Mariner. Keith, camped out with some friends at a table on the end of the pier, instantly noticed me and my "situation." Suddenly he was on his feet, acting as the dockmaster, cajoling folks to move their boats so we could get in. It was as though that pier was his and everyone there was his friend who'd stopped by for a cocktail. No muss, no fuss, no stress. Within a matter of moments a (huge) hole opened up at the front of the pier and we were in and out leaving everyone there and especially Keith, with a big smile. What a guy.