Donald Bruce Keep


Donald Bruce Keep, 84, of West Tisbury, died peacefully at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital on Thursday, August 25, 2011, following nearly a year of health challenges.

Mr. Keep was born on March 26, 1927 in Syracuse, N.Y. He attended Syracuse University and earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He served in the United States Navy prior to an honorable discharge in 1946. Bruce met Mary Lu Brown in college and they married in 1951. His career was spent marketing industrial products for Garlock Inc. while living in Pittsford, N.Y., followed by General Rubber Corporation in northern New Jersey. Fond memories of their first family home in Wayland led them back to New England in 1990 for retirement in West Tisbury. Bruce always enjoyed sailing, gardening, and doing projects around his home and in the community.

In his later years, Mr. Keep was an active contributor to the Martha’s Vineyard community. He was a treasurer of the West Tisbury Congregational Church, a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, a member of the Parks and Recreation Committee, and a driver for Meals on Wheels. He was a soft-spoken, gracious, and appreciative man, an excellent listener and a caring human being. His grandsons adored him and he was always the first to get down on the floor to play with them as toddlers or to talk with them, as they grew older. He will be remembered for his gentle and helpful presence and his kind words.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary Lu Brown Keep, two sons, David Keep of Plymouth, Mich., and Stephen Keep of Wellesley, as well as four grandsons: Britten and Jamie Keep of Michigan and Matthew and Ryan Keep of Massachusetts.

A memorial service will be held at 3 pm on Saturday, October 15, 2011 at the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Habitat for Humanity of Martha’s Vineyard. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs. Please visit for online guest book and information.