Keith Oviatt

Died: Thu., Mar. 25, 2021


1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, Thu., Apr. 01, 2021
Location: Irvine Presbyterian Church

Memorial Service

3:00 PM Thu., Apr. 01, 2021
Location: Irvine Presbyterian Church

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Keith Oviatt, age 82, was called to his heavenly home March 25th, 2021. He was preceded in death by his parents Grace and Ernest (Rook) Oviatt. Keith began his Faith and Service Life in Irvine where the community in general and the “Stone Church” in particular provided Biblical training and nurtured his love of local history. He served on the Church council for 18 years and was instrumental in building the Sunday School building in 1967 and its addition in 2005. He helped maintain Church buildings and grounds most of his life.

Keith graduated from Youngsville High School and then Edinboro University where he obtained degrees in both Social Studies and Elementary Education and met his wife, Joanne. They were married for 59 years and have two sons, Brian/Nan, Brent/Chris, and one grandson, Benjamin/Catherine. Many surviving cousins also blessed his life.  

“Mr. O’s” teaching career began with a Social Studies position in Marienville and spanned nearly three decades as an Elementary Teacher in Warren Co. He helped launch “Tabby Football plus Track and Field” events for 5th and 6th graders and facilitated the Presidential Fitness Program for boys and girls.  As one of the few male elementary teachers at the time, he provided a positive role model especially for those who really needed it.
He was consistently committed to the Masons, the Shrine and Warren County Historical Society/ Wilder Museum always focusing on goals that helped others especially those in need.  During his 60 years with Stillwater Lodge #547, he served in many service and leadership roles including Master.  Joining the Zem Zem Shrine Oriental Band became his way of raising awareness of how Shriner hospitals give help to physically challenged children and raise money to fund that help.  Keith was director of his local band for many years and held leadership offices in both regional and national Oriental Band organization. In 2002, Keith started making scroll-sawed angels from local cherry wood and selling them.  All of the proceeds went to the hospitals.  A different design was offered each year until 2019.  However, it was not all Work. Lifetime friendships bound these like-minded men together working for a common goal.   Recognizing his lifetime efforts, the Association of Shrine Oriental Bands-International named him the 2018 Bandsman of the Year.  
The Wilder Museum was a passion with Keith.   He loved to share his knowledge of history with museum visitors, especially children. He also shared his “fix it” wood-working skills as needed.  You may share his passion free of charge on Thursday, April 1st from 1-5 PM before or after the visitation at the Irvine Presbyterian Church from 1-3 PM, at which time a funeral service will be held there with the Lay Pastor, Peggy Teconchuk, officiating. Afterward, the Fellowship Hall will be open to view pictures and share stories.

Memorial donations may be made to the Irvine Presbyterian Church, Shriners Hospital for Children, 1645 W. Eighth St, Erie, Pa 16505 or to the Wilder Museum, 51 Erie Ave, Irvine, Pa 16329.

The Nelson Funeral Home & Cremation Services, in Youngsville, have been entrusted with all arrangements. Condolences to the family may be made at

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Denny Lore
   Posted Mon March 29, 2021
Joanne, Brian, Brent and family. Our prayers are with you in the days ahead as you go thru this sad time. I will miss visiting with Keith at the museum (our old school house) and remembering the good times enjoyed in our youth in Irvine. He loved history and his knowledge of the local history especially!! His hard work and dedication will benefit future history buffs of our area. May he forever rest in peace.

Timothy L. Olsen
   Posted Mon March 29, 2021
Joanne and family;

We are saddened to learn of Keith's passing, yet we know he is home with his Lord and Savior now. Keith touched many people and he leaves all of us with his tremendous legacy of serving others in friendship and love. We count it a real blessing to have had the privilege to know him. A true brother in Christ!

May God hold Keith in His eternal peace and comfort you and your family.

All our sympathy and love,
Pastor Tim and Clara Olsen

Bill and Judy Young
   Posted Tue March 30, 2021
Dear Joanne and family, we are truly sorry for the passing of Keith. He was always there for the class of 56 in anything we did. The amazing job that both you and Keith did with the Museum was certainly an accomplishment and you were always excited to share it with us. May God comfort you at this time. Sincerely, Bill and Judy Young

Nancy Wargo
   Posted Tue March 30, 2021
Dear Joanne and family ~ Sending sincere sympathy on Keith's passing. He kept quite busy throughout his life with many activities in addition to teaching. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time ~ God Bless ~ Tom and Nancy (Newman) Wargo, Lorain, Ohio

Richard Wertz
   Posted Tue March 30, 2021
I have such fond memories of our time together with at Oriental Band functions in Virginia Beach. My deepest sympathies to his family.

Anita Cohan
   Posted Wed March 31, 2021
Deepest sympathy to the Oviatt family. Keith and his love for his community will be greatly missed.
Sending prayers of comfort and hugs.

Barry and Sue Kibbey
   Posted Thu April 01, 2021
Please accept our condolences and prayers for Keith and all of his family.

Paulina Smith
   Posted Thu April 01, 2021
You have my deepest condolences Joanne in the loss of your loved one.
Prayers for the whole family.

Gib and Sandee Geer
   Posted Mon April 12, 2021
Joanne and family,
We were saddened hearing of losing Keith.....I have some great memories and some wooden art he made which I will cherish. He was an awesome guy!
Prayers and thoughts to you and yours!
Gib and Sandee

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