Obituary: UFV loses beloved employee and volunteer Keith Newport

Gregarious UFV employee Keith Newport passed away suddenly on June 30.

He was 55.

An active and enthusiastic volunteer, Keith joined UFV on Sept. 29, 2008 as a program technician for the transport trades at UFV’s Trades & Technology Centre in Chilliwack.

He lived in Yarrow (or ‘South Sardis’ as he liked to say) and leaves behind Corry — his high school sweetheart and wife of 35 years — three children, Christopher (Kara), Kimberly (Sean), Brandon, and four grandchildren: Keaton, Kason, Cali, and Sean Keith. He’s also survived by his father, Barney Newport, a large extended family, and countless friends.

Keith Newport - TTC open house - blog

Trades and Technology Director Rolf Arnold remembers Keith as a dedicated employee with an unsurpassed commitment to his work, his colleagues, and the university.

“His love for his grandchildren, family, and friends was forefront at all times,” Arnold said.

“His high level of integrity, sense of commitment, and his humour with infectious laughter will be truly missed.”

Keith had a huge presence in the community — working with the Special Olympics, volunteering as a firefighter at halls in Greendale, Abbotsford and Sardis, serving on the executive of the Old-timers hockey association, and actively participating in the local drag racing scene.

As the much-loved driving force that brought coworkers together, Keith proved that without a doubt you can’t judge a person by their appearance . . . because behind his tattooed and tough-looking exterior was a man with a warm smile and a huge heart who dropped anything to help a friend.

He was a model UFV employee: fiercely loyal, dedicated, proud, putting in countless hours of his own time to promote trades programming. Never content to just sit back, Keith worked hard to support students and faculty. Most recently, he encouraged children and adults alike to enjoy a drag racing simulator outside UFV’s new campus at Chilliwack’s Five Corners during a popular car show on June 23. He also volunteered at UFV’s Convocation 2013, greeting graduates and their families as they entered the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

His keen attention to detail, trade expertise, and commitment to the programs he supported were second to none — and it showed in the tool room Keith oversaw, where tools were kept where they belonged, every sticker was stuck straight, and it seemed you could actually eat off the floor.

He was known to say “it’s either perfect or it’s wrong.”

His loss will be felt at UFV and in the community in which he lived.

In lieu of flowers the family gratefully requests that donations be made in memory of Keith to the University of the Fraser Valley by visiting www.ufv.ca/keithnewport.

A celebration of Keith’s life will take place in Chilliwack on July 20.

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13 Responses to Obituary: UFV loses beloved employee and volunteer Keith Newport

  1. Daniel Allenby July 3, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    Keith was a true beauty. His dedication to his family has always been his strong side and his passion could never go unnoticed. My family grew up with the Newports ever since we moved to the valley in 93′ and knowing Keith was an honour. His ear-to-ear grin, his devilish laugh and the way he could turn every situation into a comedy (even when we were getting kicked out of the house for partying) made him the perfect candidate to want to be around. He was a wrench-head in every sense of the term and he loved octane…. sometimes I wondered if his blood was actually gasoline and nitrous. I havent had the pleasure of seeing Keith in quite some time since I’ve moved out of Chilliwack, but I sure do hurt knowing that I wont be able to share a couple of laughs or a cold one with him in the near or long future. I’ll miss you buddy. Lots of love from the Allenby’s and of course myself!

  2. Ann Soutar July 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    I am so very sorry to hear about this! Corry I hope you and the kids are surrounded by friends and family! sending you all my best.

  3. Kimberley July 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    Thank you so much to the University & Darren McDonald for writing this pinpoint article on my Dad. He was as amazing a man as he was a Dad. I will forever miss him

    • Deborah July 5, 2013 at 9:00 am #

      Kimberley, I never knew a man like your Dad who was more proud of his wife, children and grandchildren. I know so much about all of you because he talked about you all the time with such adoration. Cherish the time you had and keep the memories alive for your beautiful children that loved their Poppa so. My heart is broken that your Dad is gone but I’m so very happy to have known him and to have called him my friend.

  4. ELAYNE & BOB KIRKWOOD July 5, 2013 at 5:24 am #

    Keith will be remembered for his infectious smile…his hard work and especially seeing him at the rink with his wife corry and his children and grand children, he was a very proud to display you all….we are so very sorry to hear of his passing . we will be thinking about your family at this very sad time in your lives. I pray that GOD will heal your hurt,pain and sorrow…..RIP Keith

  5. Darren McDonald July 5, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Kimberley, your dad an excellent ambassador for the university – and his entire family. He was very welcoming during my short time here at UFV, and was kind enough to take the time to tell me how much he enjoyed a photo of myself and my son that he saw in the newspaper. He will truly be missed. I should also say, the credit for our sincere article about your dad really belongs to the thoughtful Deborah Hawkes.

  6. Lee and Ann Rogers July 5, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    So sorry to hear this! Our hearts and prayers go out to Corry and clan. Keith will be sadly missed – such a great influence to so many.

  7. Allen Hiebert July 5, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Very saddened by the loss of Keith. As for me, I had the opportunity to sub for him in his place of work. I know for a fact that his dedication to his work and attention to detail was contagious – all of the above done with a good measure of humor. His legacy for me will be to bring the joy of life to the places I find my self: at home and work, alongside my cohorts in this journey. Thanks, Keith for your part in my life; for your friendship that became another foundational experience at UFV.

  8. Jasdeep Singh Dhaliwal July 10, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    Keith was an awesome person. He helped everyone. RIP Keith

  9. Warren Family July 14, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    We are so sorry for your loss Corry. Our hearts and prayers are with you and your family.

  10. Jen Morley July 18, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    So very sad for your loss, Corry. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this sad time.

  11. Rolf Arnold July 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Keith Newport
    Proud member of UFV’s Trades & Technology family….gone, but not forgotten!

    We didn’t know that morning
    The calling would have your name
    In life we loved you dearly
    In death, we do the same

    With hats and tats and smiles galore
    You greeted us each day
    The tools were hung with polished glaze
    In the exclusive Newport way

    Your motorcycles, cruiser bike,
    Your mobile cooler too
    Are toys you showed us now and then
    That exposed the boy in you

    We think of you as family
    In the faculty of trades
    Your wardrobe choices were divers
    But mostly black with skills and blades

    This family chain is broken
    And nothing seems the same
    We’re learning to find comfort
    In simply saying your name

    You left us wonderful memories
    You never showed us any gloom
    And though we no longer see you
    Your spirit remains in the tool room

    It broke our hearts to lose you
    But you did not go alone
    For part of us went with you
    The day you were called home

    So in your name we’ll plant a tree
    With stainless plaque for all to see
    A tree with colours bright in fall
    A place your memories remain for all

    Death leaves a heartache
    That no one else can heal
    But Keith, you left a memory
    That no one can ever steal

    Ride on, dear friend, ride on…

  12. Brent Saunders October 16, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    I just found out about Keith!!! I am saddened, he truly was one of a kind.I was his so called pit boss when he raced his bike back in the ninetys ,what a time that was.So much more to say about him and his awesome wife Cory and his three kids!!!!!!

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