A celebration of life for Keith W. Dempster, 80 of Lone Tree will be held 11am Saturday March 23, 2013 at the Peterseim Funeral Home in Kalona with Military Graveside Services at 1:30 in Chester Center Cemetery near Grinnell. A get together of potluck, storytelling and music will be held at The Mill Restaurant in Iowa City following the services Saturday from 3-6pm. The family will hold a public viewing at the Peterseim Funeral Home Friday March 22, 2013 from 4-7pm.
Keith Dempster died quietly in his sleep Saturday, March 16, 2013 at the Simpson Memorial Home in West Liberty following a short illness.
Keith Williard Dempster was born October 16, 1932 in Grinnell, Iowa the son of Keith G. and Frances Dempster. After graduating high school he attended Grinnell College before joing the United States Army where he served from 1952 – 1955. He spent the next several years touring and working in Euorpe. Keith returned to the states and toured the eastern seaboard before settling in Iowa City and marrying Jean.
He then opened The original Coffee Mill in 1962. After a fire The Mill moved to the Old Carvutos Restaurant on Burlington street where it remained until 1972 when he moved to the current location. Keith then owned and operated The Mill Restaurant for next 41 years offering a venue for hundreds of local artists to hone their craft.
He was united in marriage to Pam on July 4, 1989 and retired from The Mill in 2003.
Keith was a member of the Coralville VFW, and the American Legion. In 1972 Keith founded the Pure Stodge Touring Association and served as its President for many years, he was a Pioneer and lifetime member of BMWMOA and served the Board of Directors in many capacities. He was also staunch Supporter of the Iowa Friends of Old Time Music. He received the Harry Oster Award in 2002. He enjoyed traveling, riding motorcyles, good food and great music. Over the many decades Keith rode his motorcycle in every state, many Euoropean countries, Central and South America and Mexico. He even took a motorcycle riding tour in Spain and Portugal for his 75th Birthday.
Survivors include one daughter; Greer and husband Patrick Willcutt and daughter Katy of Richfield, MN, step daughter; Shawn and husband John Parks of Lone Tree, IA and their daughter Sarah Rowland of Temecula, CA as well as former wife and good friend Christina Fleckner of Isabella, MO and many many friends.
Preceding Keith in death were his parents: Keith and Frances, his sister; Rita and his wife Pam.
Memorials Contibutions may be sent to: Iowa Donor Network, the Salvation Army, Friends of Old Time Music, and the Simpson Memorial Home Building Fund.