Keith Lee Wittenhagen (1945-2018), 72, went to be home with our Lord on February 12, 2018 while holding his wife’s hand in his home. He was born on May 3, 1945 in Glendale, California to Carl and Marlys (Hodge) Wittenhagen. He met the love of his life, Nettie (Moulton), when he was 17. In 1965, at age 19, Keith came home one day to a draft notice. Although already engaged, Keith and Nettie’s moms informed them they were to get married immediately to give Keith time to enlist. To their delight, they were married the next day at The Chapel of the Bells in Las Vegas, Nevada with both of their dads by their side. The next year, Keith enlisted in the Air Force where he proudly served his country from 1966-1970, including one year in Korea. Keith and Nettie were blessed with two children, Keith William (1967) and Natalie Jean (1970). After the military, Keith attended Humboldt State University in Arcata, California where he graduated with a degree in Range Conservation. Keith and his family then moved to Miles City, Montana where Keith worked as a range conservationist for the Bureau of Land Management until he retired. Keith and Nettie lived in Miles City for 32 years before moving to Rio Rancho, New Mexico to be with their daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters.
Keith valued his faith in God above all else which made him a wonderful son, husband, father and grandfather (Papa Honey). He had a zest for life and the outdoors which led him to enjoy hunting, fishing (even ice fishing for hours on end with his best friend, Curt Kunugi), golfing, bowling, racquetball, cheering on his children and eventually three granddaughters in all of their endeavors and serving at various church functions at Grace Bible Church in Miles City and The First Baptist Church of Rio Rancho. His strong will to live, unwavering faith in God and prayers of family and friends kept him going through the death of his son in 1996 and for years as he struggled with diabetes and the complications that accompanied it.
Keith was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Marlys; mother and father-in-law, Bill and Nettie Moulton; son, Keith Jr. and nephew, Joseph Camilierri. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Nettie Mae Wittenhagen; daughter and son-in-law, Natalie & Juan Pacheco; grandchildren, Katarina Pacheco Leyba (married to Rudy Leyba), Nicolette Pacheco & Annalise Pacheco; sister and brother-in-law, Nancy & Richard Camillieri; nephew, Jason Camillieri and aunts, Ruth McLaury and Devona Murphy.
A visitation will be held Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church Rio Rancho, 3906 19th Ave SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124, followed by a Funeral Service at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be held in the family lot of the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City, Montana.