|Birth: ||Mar. 12, 1959|
San Francisco County
|Death: ||Mar. 6, 2010|
San Bernardino County
son of Wesley L Keat and Lucy Janiece [May] Keat
Cathedral City mourns loss of man who led way for youth soccer
Every Sunday, Dennis Keat would head to the Cathedral City Soccer Park to mow its 17 acres of fields.
The father of six would also clean the bathrooms, groom the fields and repair the sprinkler system.
After all, the city broke ground on the park three years ago only after Keat volunteered his soccer association to maintain it.
Without his selfless dedication, friends say, the more than 1,500 youths who now use the soccer fields would not have a place to play.
"It was his leadership that helped us forge this partnership so that the park could become a reality.
It was his persistence and his dedication that helped make the park everything it is,"
Cathedral City Mayor Kathy DeRosa said Tuesday.
Instead of seeing Keat trim the grass with the riding lawn mower for which his soccer teams raised funds,
friends and family will gather at the soccer park Sunday to celebrate his life.
Keat, 50 — the commissioner for the Cathedral City chapter of the American Youth Soccer Organization
— died suddenly Saturday at a sectional soccer tournament in Riverside.
Paramedics found him in his hotel room after he failed to show up at the fields
to referee a game as scheduled. Friends say he had a heart attack.
The unexpected death of the popular commissioner rocked the tournament, and players and referees broke down in tears on the fields — but Keats' referee crew was determined to carry out its assignments as scheduled.
"It was out of respect for Dennis … because he wouldn't want it any other way," said Jim Engel,
area director for the American Youth Soccer Organization, who knew Keat for 17 years.
It was a fitting tribute for a man so committed to youth sports and activities that he picked up a Volunteer of the Year honor last year during the Cathedral City Chamber of Commerce's Orion awards.
Keat — who was a husband to Diane, father to three boys and three girls, and grandfather to two — coached Cathedral City little league, softball league and youth baseball.
He also acted as a board member and umpire, and was often seen with his family hosting fundraisers.
Keats' biggest legacy, though, came during his seven-year tenure as city commissioner for the American Youth Soccer Organization, a national nonprofit group for youth soccer that is run by volunteers.
That was when he finally saw his dream, Cathedral City Soccer Park, become a reality for the 193 teams who played under his watch.
"He was very important," DeRosa said. "This does create a significant hole in the fabric of Cathedral City, (but) his legacy will be everlasting."
Wesley Lee Keat (1932 - 1995)
Diane Keat (1957 - 2013)*
Desert Memorial Park
Created by: Wes Keat
Record added: Jan 09, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 63954334