Ocean Beach 11

Keith Gale Comstock

July 5, 1924 ~ November 4, 2019 (age 95)

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           Col. Keith Gale Comstock (USA, Ret., Corps of Engineers, Ordnance Corps) passed away peacefully Nov. 4, 2019 of natural causes at the age of 95 and 4 months, a member of the “Greatest Generation.” He was preceded in death by his wife of 44 yrs., Francelia and his wife of 24 yrs., Helen; his daughter, Mary and grandson, Keith. He is survived by his son, Rick (Yvonne); two daughters, Jean and Ann; 5 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; and his brother, Brian (Mary).

            Keith wants to be “remembered as a good soldier,” which he certainly was for 22 years.  In fact, he began his military career in high school ROTC in Pueblo, CO becoming the commanding officer (colonel) as a senior. He was a decorated veteran of the Korean conflict (2 bronze stars for bravery under fire). He was also a veteran of WWII for a brief tour in Burma protecting a vital pipeline. Additionally, in his Army career, he was awarded the Legion of Merit and the Army Commendation medal among other awards. Post Korea, he had a key role in “Operation Gold” in Berlin, a secret tunnel built to access the East German communication lines. During the Vietnam conflict he was the project manager for the GORE, an important cargo vehicle for use in tropical, wet environments.

            He loved his 4 children with considerable devotion, all of whom respected and loved him greatly. We have many wonderful memories of traveling the country every 1-2 yrs. as the Army changed his assignments, including a tour in London, England at the beginning of “Beatle–mania.” A loving family life was crucial for a military family so Fran and Keith put a lot of work into making our life secure and peaceful. In his retirement years, everyone enjoyed visiting his beautiful log home in the hills of Tennessee, where he lived with Helen 24 years before moving to Florida. 

            Post Army, Dad worked for Detroit Diesel for a second career. He distinguished himself as an expert in all things diesel. His background education as a metallurgical engineer served him well in both careers. A great joy for him was being General Motors’ representative to the Army for the precursor to the Humvee during his final 2 years in the working world.

            He loved the game of golf (though it did not always love him) into his late 80’s, loved his native Colorado and his alma mater, the Colorado School of Mines and he had a passion for flowers and gardening. He was well liked and respected by those he led in the military, those he led in battle, those he supervised in business and those who cared for him in his last years at Aston Gardens and Solaris in Naples, FL who considered him pleasant, kind and cooperative. He will be missed but he lived a full, long, productive and respected life. His ashes will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery with his fellow soldiers. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the Wounded Warriors Project or Habitat for Humanity.

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