Keith A. Lavey, 73, husband of Mary C. Lavey of Auburn, died unexpectedly on January 22, 2020.
Born in Auburn, the son of the late Henry J. Lavey and Sarah Tyler Lavey, Keith was a communicant of St. Mary’s Church, where he often served as a lector since the early 1980s. Keith was a graduate of Union Springs High School and John Carroll University. He served as a Second Lieutenant at Fort Eustis, VA, before serving eight years in the Army Reserves, where he was honorably discharged as a Captain. Keith worked at Stott and Davis for over a decade before changing careers and finding his true calling (and passion) in teaching.
Keith earned his Master’s Degree in Education at SUNY Oswego and, in 1987, started his teaching career for the Auburn Enlarged City School District at West Middle School, followed by 26 years of secondary English teaching at Auburn High School, where he retired in 2015. Throughout his career, Keith also instructed a number of college-level, credit-bearing English courses to AHS Seniors through the Cayuga Advantage Program, inmates at Auburn Correctional Facility, and students enrolled at the Fulton Campus of Cayuga Community College. Along with teaching, Keith immersed himself in advising student clubs and activities, most notably the Step Club. During this time, Keith proudly served on the board of the NAACP and the American Red Cross. He later began his beloved farming business, “Papa’s Pickins’,” growing and selling the best veggies in Central New York.
Following retirement from the Auburn School District, Keith continued adjuncting in Fulton, stopping only after the Fall 2019 semester, when his ALS diagnosis forced him to leave active classroom teaching for the more “up-close-and-personal” kind, bravely walking the painful road of living well and deeply in the face of adversity.
Surviving are his beloved wife of 50 years, Mary C. Wilson (“Mimi”), and his four children, Danielle Marie Petersen (Ryan), Sarah Rose Stodolka (Andrew), Shannon Mary-Lavey Reohr (Steven), and Patrick Keith Lavey. His 14 grandchildren include: Keith, Stanley, and Oliver Petersen; Marygrace, Clara, Stephen, Simon, Matthias, and Mimi Stodolka; Tyler, Stella, Chloe, Michael Pesci, and Cooper Reohr. Keith is also survived by his cherished siblings Cynthia (Ronald) Jones, Michelene Lavey, and Mary (James) Vitale; his sister-in-law, Lorraine Lavey; and a multitude of treasured nieces and nephews.
Keith was predeceased by his loving parents, Henry J. Lavey and Sarah Tyler Lavey, and his dearly missed siblings, Joseph H. Lavey and Jane Lavey Yoensky.
Relatives and friends are invited to calling hours from 3 to 7 pm on Sunday, January 26th, at Brew Funeral Home, 48 South Street, Auburn, NY.
A Mass of Christian burial will take place at 1 pm on Monday, January 27th, at St. Mary’s Church, 17 Clark Street, Auburn, NY.
Contributions may be made to St. Mary’s Church, a vital connection to Keith’s proud legacy of faith and family.
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St. Mary's Church
15 Clark Street, Auburn NY 13021