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From: Bob Johnson, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner

Date: 6/2/2008 

Subject: John Keys

It is with great sadness that I inform the Reclamation family that we lost Commissioner John Keys this past Friday. John was piloting a plane over Canyon Lands National Park when it crashed about 10:00 am Friday morning. Both he and a passenger were killed.

It is difficult to find the right words to convey the sense of loss that I know we all feel. John was part of Reclamation for nearly 40 years. He worked in most of our regions as well as our Denver Office. He was Pacific Northwest Regional Director for over 12 years. He retired from Reclamation only to return to be Commissioner for five more years. He believed in Reclamation and its mission. He believed in what he called "Reclamation people" and "Reclamation people" believed in him. He remembered everybody's name as well as the names of spouses and children. He would even remember your grandmother's name if you told him. In short, he cared about people and people cared about him.

John stayed in touch with many of us since retiring a second time just two years ago. I talked to him frequently and sought his sage advice on major decisions. I will miss John personally as well as professionally. I know many of you will also.

On Saturday I talked to John's wife Dell. I expressed our collective and sincere condolences. She understood the importance of the Reclamation family to John and appreciates our thoughts and prayers. Let us remember Dell and her daughters Cathy and Robyn ---- as well as John's mother in the coming days and weeks.

Plans for services are not presently known. When we know more we will pass it on.

With all Sincerity,

Bob Johnson

 
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