Obituary from the Enterprise for the week of August 10, 2023: Robert Keveren

Robert Kinsey Keveren

December 14, 1933 – August 7, 2023

Robert Kinsey Keveren, age 89, passed away on August 7, 2023 at Pioneer Place in Vale.

In the small town of Hulett, Wyoming, nestled in the prairielands just west of Black Hills National Forest, Robert Kinsey Keveren was born to Kinsey Earnest Keveren and Evva Alice (Hauber) Keveren on December 14, 1933. After spending his early childhood in Wyoming, Robert’s family moved in 1944 to Nyssa, Oregon, where his father was a beloved teacher and track coach for many years. Robert spent his fifth grade through senior years in Nyssa, becoming a motivated student and strong athlete, while enjoying hunting with Kinsey during his free time. 

Bob went on to earn a basketball scholarship to study pre-dentistry at Eastern Oregon College of Education in La Grande and graduated from the University of Oregon Dental School in Portland in 1958. Immediately after graduation, Bob accepted a commission to practice dentistry in the army, where he met Mardene Gayle Weinrich, a teacher at the post elementary school. On August 21, 1960, Bob and Mardene were married in the Nyssa Methodist Church, and they built their life in Vale, where Bob practiced dentistry and Mardene taught in the Vale Elementary School. 

They went on to welcome three sons, Phillip Kay Keveren (b. June 25, 1961), David Paul Keveren (b. June 21, 1963, d. February 11, 1969), and John Robert Keveren (b. April 16, 1966). Beyond his dedication to career and family, Bob also participated in the civic life of Vale, sitting on the city council and the school board (high school). He and Mardene were also long-time members of the Vale UMC, through which their faith in Christ was nourished. Indeed, the entire family received baptism in the Malheur River during their time in this faith community. 

Upon retirement in 1993, Bob and Mardene spent many summers in Alaska, bringing home an abundance of fresh salmon. Additionally, they enjoyed numerous visits and vacations with their grown children and grandchildren. The grandchildren especially remember hikes to the “V,” basketball tournaments, trips to the community pool, and being pulled on a sled by a vehicle into every alley and corner of Vale, which became a beloved vacation spot to them, on par with “Disneyland.” 

Mardene passed away on September 26, 2018.  Bob is survived by his children, Phillip Kay Keveren (b. 6/25/61; married to Lisa) and John Robert Keveren (b. 4/16/66; married to Jami). Additionally, he is survived by his grandchildren, Lindsay Kay (Keveren) Rickard (b. 9/1/88; married to Nathan), Sean David Keveren (b. 6/17/90; married to Mary), John Thomas Keveren (b. 1/26/08), and Joshua David Keveren (b. 6/18/10), and great-grandchildren, Charlie John Keveren (b. 8/6/16), Ellie Kate Keveren (b. 11/1/18), and Emmanuel David Rickard (b. 8/10/23) – each a beloved child for whom Christ died, who eagerly anticipate reunification with Bob and Mardene around God’s throne of amazing grace.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Malheur Butte Baptist, 11 am, Saturday, August 12, 2023. Lunch will be provided afterward, followed by graveside services at Valley View Cemetery.

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