In Memory

Keith Catlett

Keith Catlett

John Keith Catlett, 25, former Abilene High School basketball player, lost his six-month battle with leukemia at 2:45 a.m. Friday in West Texas Medical Center. 

Young Catlett had required enormous amounts of blood to fight the agressive and resistant form of leukemia from which he suffered.  He underwent treatment at Scott and White Hospital in Temple where he was in the intensive unit for some time and credit for blood donated here was sent to the hospital there.

Services for Catlett will be at 10 a.m. Monday in Pioneer Drive Baptist Church with the Rev. jack Hidlehoover, pastor, officiating.  Burial will be in Elmwood Memorial park, directed by Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home.

Born July 4, 1951 in Alexandria, La., he moved with his family to Abilene from Glenmara, La. in 1956.  He was a 1969 graduate of Abilene High School and received a BS degree in photography at Sam Houston State University in 1974.  At the time of his death, he was employed as a pumper by LeClair Operating Co., Inc. and his mother said he had hoped to become a field superintendent for the company.  His father is president of LeClair.

Survivors include his parents, Mr. and Mrs. R. John Catlett; a brother, William Roland; and his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Arthur Wright of Doddsville, Miss.  The family requested memorials to West Texas Rehabilitation Center.

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02/07/09 10:32 AM #1    

Belinda McGlothlin (Branch)

There is a specific memory involving Keith that gives me a chuckle. We were in Austin, at the state basketball championship. After the game, some of us were standing on the empty basketball court talking. Keith asked me if he could assist me with a cheerleading move…he just wanted to see how it worked. So, Keith put his hands on my waist, I squatted down toward the floor, and jumped up as fast as I could…because that was the move. What should have happened is Keith should ‘NOT’ have let go of me. However, with all his might, Keith did let go of me and catapulted me upward (back then I only weighed about 75-80 pounds and Keith was a pretty strong guy). I can remember going so high up in the air that it felt like I was going to be able to touch the metal rafters in the ceiling! Of course, that wasn’t near as bad as the feeling I experienced when I started coming back down toward the floor. Well, I fell on my tailbone very hard and it broke. Poor Keith, he felt horrible. He apologized many times. Believe me, a broken tailbone made for a very long and painful ride home to Abilene. It wasn’t so funny at the time, but now that so many years have passed always gives me a laugh whenever I think about that day in Austin. *smile* I will always remember Keith with fondness.

02/07/09 11:20 PM #2    

Linda Conley

Keith was a great friend. The classes we were in I was behind him when they sat us in alphabetical order. We always traded desks so he could wrap his long legs around my desk and get them out of the way. Teachers got used to the move.

02/09/09 10:33 AM #3    

John Bradshaw

I do not remember how Keith and I got together, but I was only 9 or 10. I introduced him to the Boy Scouts. He was a Giant then, as I am sure he is now, also. God made a good choice, and I am sorry it happened so soon in Keith's life. We willbe good friends forever.

02/13/09 06:53 PM #4    

Betty Robbins (Fowler)

I remember Keith being a giant when we attended Lincoln Jr. High, especially when he was going down the stairs and I was going up because it made him look even taller. I also remember his smile; once I told him I could only see to the top of his belt buckle as he was coming down the stairs and he told me that was ok because he could only see the top of my head.

03/15/09 11:47 AM #5    

Jan Wilkerson (DeCrescenzo)

Keith and I worked on the yearbook staff together. He was a great friend whom I've never forgotten. He helped me build and paint a 6 ft display of the 69 Flashlight for the unveiling ceremony---couldn't have done it without him. I've always missed him, but his gentle demeanor and sincere kindness are qualities that will always live on.

08/13/09 04:17 PM #6    

Jerry Kiser

I always loved Keith. A true friend, even though I made him angry a few times. It was truly a blessing that I could out run him or he would have killed me I know.

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