Deceased October 26, 2015

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In Memory

Keith McNamara died of complications from throat cancer on Oct. 26, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. In the end he chose quality of life over all the doctors’ suggested cancer protocols.

Keith went out in style. On his 87th birthday, 14 days before his death, the Ohio State University marching band serenaded him. President George H. W. Bush called with his best wishes.

Keith was a power in Ohio Republican politics. He served as a state legislator for 12 years, received many political appointments and chaired the Ohio Board of Bar Examiners and the Ohio Liquor Commission. He was a prime mover in the presidential campaigns of Presidents H.W. Bush, Ford and Nixon.

Keith got his law degree at Ohio State University and then joined his brothers in the McNamara and McNamara law firm in Columbus, where he practiced for more than 60 years.

At Amherst, after graduation from Columbus Academy, he ran track, managed the wrestling team, served on the Olio and was head of the Pre-Law Club. He joined Alpha Delta Phi, where he could often be found at the third floor card table late into the night.

We considered him savvy and smart and a loyal friend. The current chairman of the Ohio Republican Party recently called him “the sweetest guy you ever want to know.”

Keith’s wife of 32 years, Mary Lou, survives him. His first wife, Adelaide “Babs” Sayre, died in 1981; they had four children who survive: Robert, Bruce ’80, Betsy and Jeanie. A sister, Jean Raab, also survives him, along with two stepchildren, Kathy Gage and Robert Gage, plus 10 grandchildren. They were fortunate to know a fine person for many years.

John Priesing ’50

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