Robert Graham Keever, of Mercer Island, died on Sept. 13. He was 88 years old.
Mr. Keever was born on Oct. 1, 1919 in Carroll County, Gary, Ind., to James and Pearl Keever. His family moved briefly to South Dakota shortly after his birth. His family settled in Yakima, Wash., where he graduated from Davis High School. He later attended Yakima Valley Jr. College and transferred to the University of Washington, where he was a member of the Phi Si Fraternity and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree.
In 1941, Mr. Keever married his sweetheart, Barbara Grace Small, at her family’s cabin near Cliffdell, Yakima, Wash.
The Keevers moved to the Viewridge area in 1944. Shortly afterward, Mr. Keever enlisted in the U.S. Navy on July 29, 1944 and was Honorably Discharged as a Storekeeper Second Class on May 2, 1946 in Bremerton, Wash. Following his Naval service, he continued in his profession as an accountant, eventually to become the president of White and Bollard Commercial Real Estate Company, widely known as the biggest real estate mortgage company west of the Mississippi. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the development of many firsts for the greater Seattle area. These included developments such as: the first planned community — Newport Hills, the Mercerwood Shore Club, Southcenter and Andover Industrial Park. Mr. Keever moved his family to Mercer Island in 1955, where he remained a resident even after Barbara’s death in March 2007.
Mr. Keever was a former member of the Rainier Club, Overlake Golf and Country Club, the Bellevue Club, and as a member of the U. of W. Tyee Club, he was an avid Husky fan. Mr. Keever’s other interests included extensive world travel — he once rented Malcolm Forbes’ private island for a family gathering. The family remembers Mr. Keever’s entrepreneurial spirit, his keen sense of humor and his loving, fair and kind nature. He was the stable foundation of his family.
Mr. Keever is survived by his son, Ed Keever (Karen Eve), of Bellevue; daughter, Kathy Fasen (Allen), of Maple Valley, Wash.; daughter, Jill Du Bois (Marc), of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; son, Robert Keever (Lynn), of Bellevue; and son, Michael Keever (Cindy), of Bellevue. He will also be missed by his 18 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
A private memorial service and celebration of Mr. Keever’s life will be held. Friends are invited to share memories, view pictures and sign the family’s online guest book at www.flintofts.com.