Spurgeon D. Keeth, who was Clatsop County’s last living survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, died Thursday. He was 92.
After spending most his life in Wapato, Washington, in the Yakima Valley, Keeth moved to Hammond in 2015 to be cared for by his daughter, Donna Barnett, and her husband, Bill. Keeth led a more private life and hadn’t belonged to any veterans groups in Washington state, Barnett said.
“When he came here, things changed,” she said. “He couldn’t socialize a lot, but when people found out there was a Pearl Harbor survivor, they went nuts.”
Keeth became a local celebrity on the North Coast and the county’s last living survivor of the attack after the death of Seaside’s Bill Thomas a year ago. Thomas, a sailor on the Navy’s USS Medusa during the attack, helped lead the effort to dedicate Seaside’s First Avenue Bridge the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in 2000.
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