Keith Edward Dubay, died in his home – mad as hell because he wasn’t ready – the afternoon of July 9, 2018. (Keith insisted that that sentence open his obituary). Keith passed away four days after his wife of 68 years, Audrey Joyce Helming Dubay.
Keith graduated from Bristol High School in 1945. Keith and Audrey had five children, Keith Jr, Kevin, Keryl, Kiernan and Kristin.
Keith was a grandfather to eight grandchildren, Andrew Santaniello, Liz Vaughn, Patience (Mackey) Dubay, Savannah Dubay, Grace Dubay, Clara Horton, Katherine Horton and Charlotte Horton; and three great-grandchildren, CJ, Madison and Ethan Vaughn.
Keith led a life of public service – enlisting in the Navy during World War II – because he had heard there were snakes (he detested snakes) in the foxholes of Europe. He was a gedunk tender – which meant he ran an ice cream shop aboard ship and that he made sandwiches during active fire drills.
Keith was always a pacifist. Upon returning from the war, Keith enrolled at UConn utilizing the benefits provided under the G.I.Bill. He graduated from UConn in 1951 and became a Certified Life Underwriter in 1962.
Keith was head of young Democrats in Connecticut, served as first selectman from 1953-1955 and as State Representative from 1955-57 and 1959-1961. Perhaps most importantly to him, he served as Chairman of the Bristol Board of Education from 1976-1979 where he championed gifted and talented programs in public schools.
Always a modest man, he was slightly embarrassed when a Bristol Press Editorial at the termination of his Board of Education service referred to him as “his brother’s keeper.” Keith was an avid supported of sensible gun legislation and from 1975-2000 he cut every gun death from the paper and copied them at the local library or post office with a stack of dimes. Keith sent copies to every state representative and senator who did not yet support sensible limits to gun ownership.
He worked as a volunteer lobbyist for Bread for the World – working tirelessly for the passage of WIC and the school breakfast program. Keith believed that adequate food was a basic human right.
Keith worked at RJ Vicino Agency selling insurance from 1958 to 1992. Keith also served as a Justice of the Peace – marrying people all over Bristol. Upon his retirement Keith divided his time equally between world travel and volunteerism. Keith was a mentor to children in Bristol Public Schools, a worker for Hartford Habitat for Humanity with his closest friend Arthur Gatzuras and supported his beloved UConn huskies. Even when in the far East or Caribbean he would find a local bar to catch games.
He and Audrey always felt that they had been incredibly blessed. They in turn were a blessing to all fortunate enough to know and love them. Per their wishes there will be no calling hours and a private internment. Donations in Keith’s memory may be made to Foodshare, Habitat for Humanity or to the organization of the donor’s choice. A celebration of their life at their home at 62 Hardwick Road, Bristol, CT 06010, will be held on August 4, from 3 to 6 p.m. Stop by to raise a glass in thanksgiving for the grace they shared. All are welcome. Online guestbook available at www.funkfuneralhome.com .