Richard “Dick” Keysor, a local business leader, philanthropist, and 1989 Santa Clarita Man of the Year, passed away peacefully at his Santa Clarita home at the age of 91 Wednesday.
Dick was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and was 16 when his family moved to Burbank, CA where his father, James “Bud” Keysor, started his own recording vinyl manufacturing business, later known as Keysor-Century Corporation.
Dick started working in the family business as a teenager and graduated from Burbank High School. Afterward, at age 19 he served for 2 years as a young church missionary in Hawaii and always had a soft spot for the people and culture of Polynesia. He attended college at UCLA and the University of Utah and received his B.S. in Business Management.
In 1954, he met the love of his life and married Arlene Meyer of Smithfield Utah, and shortly thereafter served his country as a First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force during the Korean War at McChord Field in Tacoma, Washington where his first two children were born.
After being released from the Air Force in 1956, he returned to the San Fernando Valley. In 1957, he helped arrange the move of Keysor-Century Corporation from the San Fernando Valley to Saugus. Eight years later in 1965, Dick moved his family, now three girls and two boys, to the Santa Clarita Valley. He worked in various executive capacities such as President and CEO with Keysor-Century Corporation until it closed in 2002.
Endless community service and philanthropy were his proud contributions to Santa Clarita. He was a founding Member of the Board of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. He also served as Foundation Chairman of the hospital for 2 years, fund raising and initiating a program that financed and developed an adult day health care center at the hospital.
Dick also served as Area Chairman of the United Way Santa Clarita campaign, was Hart District Chairman of the Boy Scouts of America, Board member of the Michael Hoefflin Foundation, and served as a Trustee for 12 years on the Sulphur Springs School District board.
Always persevering and volunteering, Dick was a long-time member of the board of the SCV Boys & Girls Club where he served as President of the Board and in 1979 was Chairman of the Boys & Girls Club Auction, where he set fund-raising records.
Dick has been an owner and investor in many companies, including his children’s entrepreneurial ventures, and has served on many boards. He was a Founding Director of Valencia National Bank which was eventually acquired by Union Bank.
Dick and his wife Arlene were recipients of the Sulphur Springs School District PTA Founders’ Award. In 1987, he was nominated for the Southern California National “Philanthropist of the Year” award for having donated more than 25,000 hours of community service.
Always a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Dick served as a Bishop twice. He continually served the Lord in many church capacities his entire life including Sunday School Teacher, Area Youth Leader, and High Councilman, and led many service projects. He had a beautiful tenor voice and sang in the church choir with Arlene as the organist. He had a natural gift for art and loved sports.
When his youngest daughter was on the track program at Canyon High School, Dick qualified himself in track technique and volunteered as an assistant track coach. He became a “father figure” to many of the students and encouraged them to achieve their goals, resulting in their setting some school records. Undaunted by age or health challenges, he even attended his family’s athletic, church and academic events until earlier this year.
Dick and Arlene just celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary on May 5, and are the parents of nine children, Stephen, Claudia, Kari, Jenny, David, Lisa, Colleen, Stacy and Christine. All of the children attended Sulphur Springs Elementary School, and Canyon High School, and all are graduates of Brigham Young University. Dick and Arlene have 33 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren. His parents James and Bernice Keysor (deceased), brothers Jim (deceased) and Robert have been residents of Santa Clarita Valley, and his sisters, Carolyn Hill and Kathy Kellar, still reside in SCV.
Dick was loved by his family, friends, church, and community and this compassionate man will be greatly missed.KHTS Santa Clarita News Alerts delivered right to your inbox. Report a typo or error, email Corrections@hometownstation.com
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