Salem-Thomas R. Keys, Jr., 81, of Salem, passed away unexpectedly Friday, January 3, 2020 at Saratoga Hospital. His death coincides with the celebration of his 61st wedding anniversary with his wife Jane.
Tom was born May 13, 1938 in Cambridge, NY, the son of the late Thomas R. Keys, Sr. and Esther Mae Pollock Keys. He attended Salem Washington Academy and worked on the family farm, Riverside Farms, with his father and then his son Todd until 1991, when he sold the farm to Woody Hill Farms. After the sale, Tom took a job with Caro-Vail in Salem until he retired in 2011. He excelled at Caro-Vail seeding down fields and also spreading fertilizer. His reputation for high quality work led to requests for his services from farms all over New York State and New England.
Tom also served his community as the Assessor for the Town of Jackson for 36 years and Deputy Town Clerk alongside his wife Jane, the Town Clerk. He was a member of the Salem First United Presbyterian Church and Shushan United Presbyterian Church. He served as an Elder at both. Tom could often be found working with Dave Mears on many projects at the church in Salem.
Tom looked forward to hunting with friends and family, doing jigsaw puzzles and riding his side by side. He and Jane took many camping trips with their RV over the years, often with grandchildren in tow. He shared a special bond with his cat Ruby. Tom looked forward to his weekly card games with family, John & Roxy Pemrick. He also enjoyed coming up with nicknames for his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, Tom was predeceased by his sisters, Joyce Fleming, Marilyn Feenan and Elsie "Pat" Rubino; his brother and sister-in-law Wayne Kenyon and Marilyn Pemrick.
Tom is survived by his devoted wife, Jane Kenyon Keys whom he married January 3, 1959, his children Kimberly (Jay) Skellie of Greenwich, Wendy (Peter) McKernon of Greenwich and Thomas Todd (Laural) Keys of Salem; a sister Jacqueline (Royal)Cheney of Pensacola, FL. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Jase (Davis) Skellie, Tyler (Jessica) Skellie, Chelsey (Sean) Patrick, Jessie (Ryan) Keys, Cassandra (Cameron) Ross, Alyse (Francis) DePompeis and Cody Keys; his great grandchildren, Carter and Camden Ross, Ava and Bree Skellie, and Delia and Harlan Patrick.
He is also survived by his in-laws; Frank Pemrick, John and Roxy Pemrick, Kay and Ed Walsh, Nick and Cate Kenyon and many nieces and nephews.
Calling hours are Friday, January 10, 2020 from 4-7 pm at the McClellan-Gariepy Funeral Home, 19 East Broadway, Salem.
A funeral service will be Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 11:00 am at the Salem First United Presbyterian Church, 13 West Broadway, Salem with Rev. Donna Frischknecht Jackson officiating.
Memorial gifts in memory of Tom may be made to the Salem First United Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 606, Salem, NY 12865, Salem Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 360, Salem, NY 12865, Salem Vol. Fire Department, P.O. Box 449, Salem, NY 12865 or the Historic Salem Courthouse, P.O. Box 140, Salem, NY 12865.
The family appreciates all the love and support given from their community and especially his Primary Care Doctor Barney Rubenstein. Throughout Tom’s struggle with his illness, often times when he and Jane were out and about, friends and kind strangers would offer assistance without being asked or expected. Small town communities are one of a kind and heartfelt.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas R. Keys, Jr., please visit our floral store.
Salem First United Presbyterian Church
P.O. Box 606, Salem NY 12865
Salem Rescue Squad
P.O. Box 360, Salem NY 12865
Salem Vol. Fire Dept.
P.O. Box 449, Salem NY 12865
Historic Salem Courthouse
P.O. Box 140, Salem NY 12865