It was a heartfelt Monday for many community members as they gathered to celebrate the life of local volunteer Keith Wilkinson, who passed away suddenly earlier this month.
Wilkinson was a lifelong volunteer in Airdrie and was described as somebody you could look to if you needed help. He was also one of the founding members of 100 Airdrie Men Who Give A Damn; and according to his fellow members and friends, Tyson Leslie and Jack Lumley, around 300 people came to share their condolences for Wilkinson. At the celebration, multiple stories were shared about him and how he was so willing to help people.
"It might seem to you it was a life-changing impact, and to Keith, it was like a Tuesday, that's just how Keith rolled. He wasn't saving the world, he wasn't saving the day, he was just being Keith," explained Leslie.
Lumley talked about one story that was brought up at the celebration. It was about the "Raise the Rinks" event when Airdrie was trying to build the Twin Arenas at Genesis Place.
"Keith hardly ever skates, like maybe never. Yet he just said, the community will be a better place with it."
According to Lumley, for Wilkinson's wife, Sandra, it was good to see just how many people Wilkinson helped out.
"Here's a guy who the community truly loved and I think it was very good for her and for Keith's dad, Richard, to see that there was nothing phony, everything was authentic about Keith."
When talking with Sandra, she knew Keith was a big supporter of the community, but she was overwhelmed with just how much he meant to Airdrie. During the celebration, Sandra also got up and spoke and gave a very moving tribute to her time with Keith.
"It was really more about how they were able to bond as a couple and just sit and talk and enrich each other's presence and how thrilled the kids were to have Keith as a stepdad and how hard Keith tried to be the perfect stepdad."
Sandra also read a letter that her son and written about Keith that was very moving.
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